Jennifer Lawrence slammed the gender pay inequality in Hollywood in a scathing essay addressing revelations from the Sony hack that she was earning less than her male co-stars in “American Hustle.”
“When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn’t get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself,” she wrote in an essay about Hollywood’s wage gap for her friend Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter newsletter. “I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn’t want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don’t need.”
The Oscar winner said her decision not to fight for higher pay was influenced by her need “to be liked” and her fear of coming off as “difficult” or “spoiled.” Although partly attributable to her age and personality, Lawrence said these image concerns are also indicative of social conditioning: “Could there still be a lingering habit of trying to express our opinions in a certain way that doesn’t ‘offend’ or ‘scare’ men?”
“At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn’t worry about being ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled,'” she wrote.
Lawrence said she’s putting those days behind her and addressing the industry’s inherent sexism head on: “F— that.”
“I’m over trying to find the ‘adorable’ way to state my opinion and still be likable! F— that,” she concluded in an essay titled “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?” “I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard. It’s just heard. Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper all fought and succeeded in negotiating powerful deals for themselves. If anything, I’m sure they were commended for being fierce and tactical, while I was busy worrying about coming across as a brat and not getting my fair share.”
“Again, this might have NOTHING to do with my vagina, but I wasn’t completely wrong when another leaked Sony email revealed a producer referring to a fellow lead actress in a negotiation as a ‘spoiled brat.’ For some reason, I just can’t picture someone saying that about a man.”
Her latter remarks are in reference to an email in which producer Scott Rudin called Angelina Jolie Pitt a “minimally talented spoiled brat” in an exchange with then Sony co-chair Amy Pascal.
Lawrence joins the likes of actors Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, Geena Davis, Liv Tyler, Helen Mirren, Sandra Bullock, Patricia Arquette and Maggie Gyllenhaal, who are also denouncing the sexism in the industry.
“We are the generation that said, ‘We’re not going away at 30,'” Salma Hayek Pinault said. “They cannot ignore us anymore.” Meanwhile, Gwyneth Paltrow said the industry discouraged women from being “ambitious.”