Earlier this week (October 13), Jennifer Lawrence published an essay on the wage gap in Hollywood. The essay, entitled "Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?" was released as part of Lena Dunham's newsletter. In the essay, Lawrence discusses how she felt after discovering how much less she was making than her male co-stars as a result of the Sony hack. She said that after she found out the numbers, she "didn't get mad at sony", instead she got mad at herself for "fail[ing] as a negotiator". Her reason for failing? She didn't want to "seem 'difficult' or 'spoiled'". Lawrence ends her essay by brilliantly pointing out how yet another leaked Sony email proved her fear was justified. This email called another actress a "spoiled brat" in a negotiation. Lawrence highlighted the key point of the story: "I just can't picture someone saying that about a man."
Celebrities from all parts of Hollywood have responded to Lawrence's essay, supporting her point, and asking for change. Bradley Cooper, who has co-starred with Lawrence in American Hustle among others, spoke about the topic to Entertainment Tonight, saying that "there's a double standard in the whole world, yeah, for sure".
Emma Watson, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, tweeted her support:
O Jennifer Lawrence I love you so. X
— Emma Watson (@EmWatson) October 13, 2015
"I’m over trying to find the “adorable” way to state my opinion". — Emma Watson (@EmWatson) October 13, 2015
Jessica Chastain, who later spoke with HuffPost Live about her own experiences with gender-based wage inequality, cheered Lawrence on:
Yessssssss! Get it girl xx https://t.co/L3w0nNnqGQ
— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) October 13, 2015
Chastain spoke more on the topic at the premiere of Crimson Peak, saying "I'm proud of her" and calling Lawrence "brave" for talking about it. Fellow Crimson Peak star Mia Wasikowska also commented, saying "It's about time that gap was closed and it's still quite surprising that it's still an issue". Director and actor Elizabeth Banks also shared her affection for Lawrence:
The fact that such a wage disparity exists, even in Hollywood where one would hope agents and lawyers and other professionals would speak up or protect their clients against this kind of blatant sexism, is baffling. It was incredibly brave of Lawrence to speak up, and the response from her fellow stars in Hollywood has been a good sign. Hopefully, it's just one of many more to follow.