‘The X-Files’: Gillian Anderson Was Offered Half as Much as David Duchovny for Revival Series

Gillian Anderson x-Files Pay Fox
Courtesy of Fox

Gillian Anderson may have earned Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Awards for her portrayal of Dana Scully in Fox’s sci-fi hit “The X-Files,” but she recently revealed that she had to fight to be paid the same as male co-star David Duchovny — during the show’s original run and for the hotly-anticipated revival, premiering Sunday.

Anderson confirmed to The Daily Beast that it took her three seasons before she closed the wage gap between her and co-star Duchovny during the show’s ’90s heyday, after growing tired of accepting less than “equal pay for equal work.”

According to The Daily Beast, the studio also “initially required Anderson to stand a few feet behind her male partner on camera, careful never to step side-by-side with him.”

“I can only imagine that at the beginning, they wanted me to be the sidekick,” Anderson told The Daily Beast. “Or that, somehow, maybe it was enough of a change just to see a woman having this kind of intellectual repartee with a man on camera, and surely the audience couldn’t deal with actually seeing them walk side by side!”

Although Anderson eventually received salary parity with Duchovny, she told The Hollywood Reporter she was once again offered “half” of what her male co-star was being courted with when she was first approached about Fox’s “X-Files” revival. (Sources told THR that the two actors ended up being paid the same amount for the event series.)

“I’m surprised that more [interviewers] haven’t brought that up because it’s the truth,” Anderson told The Daily Beast. “Especially in this climate of women talking about the reality of [unequal pay] in this business, I think it’s important that it gets heard and voiced. It was shocking to me, given all the work that I had done in the past to get us to be paid fairly. I worked really hard toward that and finally got somewhere with it.”

She added, “Even in interviews in the last few years, people have said to me, ‘I can’t believe that happened, how did you feel about it, that is insane.’ And my response always was, ‘That was then, this is now.’ And then it happened again! I don’t even know what to say about it.”

Fox declined to comment on Anderson’s statements.

“The X-Files” revival premieres Sunday, Jan. 24 on Fox.

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  1. Daniel says:

    And work less?

  2. Daniel says:

    Women are paid more in porn.

  3. Steven Reiss says:

    After all of the childish and inappropriate anti-conservative comments made by Mulder (no doubt reflecting Carter’s own political beliefs) isn’t a bit hypocritical to pay the female actress so much less than the male, especially after how many years of stellar ratings, thanks to BOTH? Reminds me of the OsamaObama administration getting caught paying their female workers less than males…………..tsk, tsk, do as I say, NOT as I do.

    • Lee says:

      Barack Obama doesn’t pay people dear, The US government does.
      Also, do you think it’s healthy for you to make everything about Obama? If you’re reading an article about X files and Obama’s on your mind, you should seek some help with that, it’s not normal.

    • Patrick Andrzejak says:

      Actually it would be the Network that worked the salaries not Carter. Just saying.

  4. Matt says:

    Seems many people on here don’t run a business. As an owner, you don’t start out hiring people at the highest salary you can pay. You offer the lowest, and get labor for as cheap as you can. Same thing for buying a house. You don’t offer the most you’re willing to pay from the get go, even though it may be owned by a woman. You offer rock bottom price, and if she accepts the offer and doesn’t say no or counter with a higher offer, then there you go!!

  5. jim says:

    Certainly during the original run of the series, it was wrong for them not to have been paid equally from the start, but how can she say her current star power even compares to David Duchovny’s. Duchovny is a much bigger star these days, which is why he is paid more.

    • To say that Duchovny is a “much bigger” star nowadays is delusional. Stop finding excuses for men’s good old-fashioned sexism. “The X-Files” became a relevant series because, among other things, it featured an intelligent, independent, hard-working woman in a lead role. Dumb Fox suits lost a great opportunity, AGAIN, to show class and a modicum of common sense. They could have easily curbed their greed and proposed the same money to the actress from the very beginning: after all, had it been not for her, the series would have never made them so much money (ca billion $). It would have been fantastic PR for the show, too. But no, let’s show the female talent who’s boss. Now they look stupid and will be dragged through the mud forever. Congratulations, twats – serves you right.

  6. pickles says:

    It all comes down to we the consumer will be paying both their salaries. That’s how it works. Ad costs will go up to pay their salaries prices of the products in the ads will go up so we are the real losers.

  7. Shaun says:

    Ms. Anderson is right. It is absolutely unbelievable, in this day and age and given the critical importance of her role to the X-Files, that she was offered anything less than the same salary as Mr. Duchovny. That is incredible. I don’t know who would have been in charge of such negotiations, but that person/people need to be carefully examined. Why would they even think that they could or should approach Ms. Anderson with such an insulting offer? Of course, it wasn’t long ago that Jennifer Lawrence made significantly less than her male co-stars for “American Hustle” (on the other hand, she wasn’t in that film for long) but Gillian Anderson is so integral to the X-Files that it defies comprehension to hear that she was put in this position.

    • I have no respect for someone who is making more than EVERYONE else on the set, and then whines about not making enough. If she wants the pay to be “fair”, then she needs to insist on making union wages.

  8. Bridget says:

    They are both doing the same job so they should have been paid the same right off the bat no matter what industry they are working in. It’s ridiculous that Anderson even had to have the conversation in the first place to ask for equal pay, but here we are in 2016 and women still have to go through this BS. And now, if women dare say anything about this they are shamed for even bringing it up.

  9. Nauero says:

    He has more market value. Her reps negotiated for more and succeeded. The free market succeeds for everyone. If he was offered half initially, would anyone cry sexism? Must be a slow news day.

  10. Patrick says:

    Are we going to get an article every time an actress negotiates her salary now?

  11. IAN says:

    David had two hit series since. Gillian was working in the UK, where they’re known to barely pay. I can see why they’d do it.

    • Mike87 says:

      His show about murder in the 70s was canceled bc it sucked. He was the lead and he couldn’t get the show to be successful.
      Gillian has had success not only in the UK but also in the US. She was on nbc’s Hannibal, and although The Fall was UK based it became popular in the US as well thanks to Gillian and also Jaime Dornan which women loved in 50 Shades of Gray.
      But regardless of their success after the X-Files, the revival show hinges on BOTH mulder and scully so to offer Gillian Anderson half pay is not only insulting but also confusing. Just goes to show how backwards the Fox network is. Can’t say I’m surprised since these are the same fools that brought us Family Guy and American Dad.

  12. I have read this somewhere before and I find it shocking. Fox is incredibly sexist. So are other big studios in the industry.
    People are forgetting that DD actually left the whole series after season 7 and it did very well? With season 8 being one of my favorite seasons… GA is a much bigger draw to the revival.

    • Ben says:

      If an actor wants more than they are offered they should demand more. She did and she got what she demanded. Good for her. This isn’t a crisis. (Both DD and GA are wonderful and essential to the series.)

  13. Ben says:

    She asked for more money and got it.That is how negotiations work…

  14. Park says:

    If she took it and has an issue with that, then that’s her problem.

  15. jim says:

    I curious as to how this happened. Was it:

    a) Someone at FOX decided to reboot the show and specifically said, “Let’s offer David $100,000 an episode and let’s offer Gillian $50,000 an episode and see what happens.”

    Or was it…

    b) FOX offers both Gillian and David $50,000 an episode. David’s agents tell FOX, “David wants $100,000 an episode,” and FOX agrees to pay him that. Meanwhile, Gillian’s people say, “Gillian is interested, what’s David getting since you offered us $50,000?” And then her agents discover David is getting $100,000, and cry inequality, when David was only getting more money because he asked for more money.

    If it’s “a” then that’s pretty messed up, and there is a specific person at FOX who is the real problem. The guy who made the offer.

    If it’s “b” then Gillian needs better agents or more self worth to demand what she thinks she should be paid.

    • IAN says:

      It’s B.

      • HK says:

        “Although Anderson eventually received salary parity with Duchovny, she told The Hollywood Reporter she was once again offered “half” of what her male co-star was being courted with when she was first approached about Fox’s “X-Files” revival.”

        Correct answer: A

  16. HP says:

    It’s dumb of her to equate her situation as a millionaire actress with some $12 an hour job some woman is wasting away at. In the acting business getting paid a certain amount accounts for how good is your agent, how many people you can pull in to the seats, etc. There’s no denying Duchovny is the bigger star of the show, too. If she getting paid the same as him now it’s because she’s riding the coat tails of the women with their low pay hourly wage jobs.

    • Leigh says:

      It’s enough to looks at their wiki pages and their accolades and see that she’s the more acclaimed actor – there’s no denying that. Wage gap applies to everyone. Discrimination is discrimination; rich or poor.

      • frankly says:

        pay is not about what an actor brings in acclaim, pay is about the money the actors bring in through marketability. Awards definetly can help an actors marketability, but thats gonna be Oscars and not sag awards. The average American knows nothing about the sag awards. Gillian Anderson is definetly a better actress than Selena Gomez yet Selena Gomez is more well known and marketable so she gets paid alot when she acts. Duchovny has a more recognizeable face (Californiacation) to the typical American so it makes sense that he might get more money. Jonah Hill was paid 60,000 for Wolf of Wallstreet while Leo was paid upwards of 25,000,000. Leo is obviously a better actor but Jonah Hill had been Oscar nominated and was the second biggest character of the movie. That’s a huge pay gap even though they are both oscar nominated and have Big names. Leo’s the star of the movie, but still. The BBC and theatre are great gigs, but again are not gonna gain you huge recognition to American audiences unless your Sherlock or Doctor Who.

  17. Jack Meoff says:

    REALLY!? This is the top headline on imdb when I wake up!? The media’s always trying to start drama. Typical liberal fodder. Let me know when there’s real news in entertainment.

  18. Leigh says:

    Why would she be paid the same as him, as she obviously should be paid more, because she’s the better actor that won an Emmy and 2 SAG award for this role. And I’m not even talking about all the incredible work she has been doing on stage and all the BBC productions. Unbelievable!

    • IAN says:

      You don’t get paid based on awards. David had successful series in the US since the X-Files. Gillian hasn’t.

    • Cartman says:

      Except that he is the only actor to have ever won two different golden globes for two different series.

      • Leigh says:

        Yes, a commercial award that both Gaga and Pia Zadora won. lol! Try again.

        Anderson won numerous awards for TV, film and her theatre work – 28 wins (and close to 100 nominations in total) so far. He, from what I’m seeing, won 4. :)

  19. Karen M says:

    Hate to break it to you, but Duchovny became a bigger star since the original series and now brings more eyes to the reboot. He deserves more money. It’s that’s simple. Stop this propaganda. If you don’t like what you’re getting paid, get a better agent.

  20. neemsemmi says:

    Rich people complaining. Give better salaries to people who do important jobs first! Funny. No actually it is disgusting!

  21. Jay says:

    I find this more outrageous than any other issue about diversity that’s out there. Gillian Anderson was clearly established as the co-lead on the X-Files and fought successfully at the time to be paid equally (a few season in, mind you). She also has established herself since as a very successful actor, at least as successful as David Duchovny (frankly, I think more so).

    For this to happen now shows more clearly than anything else the old-white boys mentality that permeates the Hollywood industry.

    • beefalo says:

      “She also has established herself since as a very successful actor, at least as successful as David Duchovny (frankly, I think more so).”

      Not even remotely close. Gillian has had supporting roles on a few TV shows (except for The Fall), and although I think that she is very good, she is nowhere near as successful as Duchovny, who has had leads in TV and supporting movie roles for the last few years consistently. This may be a case of actors deserving equal pay, but it is completely unrealistic that it would cost the same to hire Gillian as Duchovny at this point in their careers. You are overreacting.

      Gillian said “I can’t believe it happened again” LOL no one to blame but herself.

      • ericcartman23 says:

        Wrong. Gillian has received SO MANY nominations and awards for her acting in England, in TV and theatre. Take a look at how many nominations she has and how many awards she has won for miniseries, tv-series or theatre(spoiler: they’re many more than what David has won). You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about. The difference is that Duchovny has been a star on AMERICAN TV while she’s been acting mostly in England aside from Hannibal and Crisis.

      • Leigh says:

        Reading comprehension isn’t you stronger side, I assume. She has only herself to THANK for getting paid equally for negotiating a decent deal in the end. So, read again.
        Everything he has done post X-Files, besides Californication (that ran 4 seasons to long) is just an embarrassment.

  22. Unbelievable. I’m glad Gillian fought for her equal pay. Fox foolishly thought they could pay her less with no fuss. Gillian has been consistently working since the end of the series, and they still had the audacity to pay her less because she’s a woman. Idiots.

  23. Mark says:

    This is baffling to me. I can understand (but not agree with) where Fox was coming from during the show’s initial run, as they would have assumed that Duchovny was the bigger name at the time and should be paid more–though by the end of season one it should have been obvious to everyone that Anderson was every bit as important as Duchovny to the show–but to offer her lower pay now, when she has had (arguably) a more successful acting career than him, is absolutely ludicrous. Not to mention the fact that in terms of pure acting talent, Anderson has always been better than Duchovny. Maybe this was just reflexive sexism on Fox’s part and they just can’t help themselves, despite the fact that Anderson already fought and won that battle against them twenty years ago.

  24. Michael says:

    Anyone who thinks David Duchovney was the main draw of The XFiles, is delusional. They were both main characters, equally pivotal to plots. She should have always been paid the same salary as him, and the fact that it took her 3 seasons to get equal pay, is ridiculous. The fact that they tried to pull the same shit on her, for this event series, is just galling. Gillian Anderson is a stellar actress, and any series would be lucky to have her. David Duchovney however, is as wooden as he’s always been.

    • sgb says:

      Michael wrote: “Anyone who thinks David Duchovney was the main draw of The XFiles, is delusional. They were both main characters, equally pivotal to plots.”

      True, but I’d go further and say that Anderson eventually became the main draw. I’d say it happened sooner rather than later, but there’s no question about it after season 7. The show continued, largely without Duchovney, and millions kept watching, with Anderson as the undisputed lead.

  25. BB says:

    Shameful and not surprising – that’s Fox after all. Anderson is the bigger and better actor and clearly should be paid more.

  26. Frank says:

    The reality is David was the star of the show. After he left, the show went downhill. They could have easily have brought the show back without her and just given her a scene here and there and fans would have been fine if the scripts were good. That being said, sometimes you start the negotiation too low and it becomes offensive. I am glad everyone is back and I look forward to watching.

    • Lee says:

      If you really think fans would have watched this show without Scully, I want some of what you’re drinking.
      The show needs both of them equally and they should both be paid equally. If anyone was to be paid more, it should actually be her because she kept the show on air for a couple of seasons without Mulder, but there’s never actually been an X files without Dana Scully.
      That said, a reboot is too tricky to bring back without both of them, so equal pay recognising their equal value would have been the right way to go.

    • ericcartman23 says:

      Congrats. You’ve written one of the most idiotic comments in the history of the internet.

    • Alex says:

      if that were the case, Fox wouldn’t have accepted to pay her equally in the end, and they would have looked for another actress that would have accepted a lower pay. They didn’t, which tells me that they know that without her, just as it was without him, the show wouldn’t be well received.

      • Fat steve says:

        Or that they were afraid they would be named and shamed, then without their reason being heard the context of the discussion manipulatulated to fit an embarrassing agenda. You know, like what’s happening?

  27. Anyone who thinks Duchovny is the draw is delusional. X-Files without Duchovny was acceptable but X-Files without Anderson? Would fall apart after a few episodes.

  28. Roy says:

    She should had said if you want me in this venture-Now- equal pay and 500k extra for your bullshit.

  29. Jim says:

    Equal pay for equal work makes zero sense in the entertainment field…..there is no such thing as “equal” work there. Actors are paid on their ability to bring in audience numbers. Duchovny is certainly a bigger name draw. I suppose under that rationale every NFL QB should be paid the exact same….every NBA starter should be paid the exact same for their “equal” work, lol. These aren’t factory jobs….these are entertainers….they get paid based on how well they entertain and how much money they bring in…..not how many minutes they spend behind the camera.

    • Fat steve says:

      Jim, christ! Jim!! Stop it with your accursed sense this is a story, stop trying to debase it to an irrational opinion piece..

      Don’t give them ideas!! Do you know how many sites we are going to have to read now about the shocking wage gap in sports? When I do I will be blaming you Jim this is all your fault, thanks for tea bagging the INTERNET.

      In all seriousness this is an important article, probably will win galactic article of the year.

  30. John Bata says:

    I got paid 75 dollars to DJ on New Years Eve at a place that was packed with hundreds of people and they raked it in that night and I was told that if I didn’t like it well too bad. People don’t understand ethics and basically doing what is right it seems. How stupid that women don’t get paid the same as men for the same jobs. The world has problems.

  31. Andrea Hagedorn says:

    She’s sounding like Jennifer Lawrence, and she really shouldn’t complain. She’s probably made more money in her career than most will ever see in a lifetime. Sorry Gillian and Jennifer, but get over it. You’re already wealthy as can be.

    • DD is very wealthy too.. Should he have offered to forfeit his salary then..?? — I mean, because following your logic after people reach a certain level of wealth accumulated, then they should simply stop asking for more $$$ when they work.. And if that’s the case, then why ask for any at all. — After all, JR Ga & DD are ALL “as wealthy as can be.”

      Heck, why even limit this philosophy to across or entertainers for that matter..?!?!
      How about applying it across the board that once someone attains a certain level of wealth – once they become “as wealthy as can be”… (You’re gonna have to let us know exactly what that amount would be, of course.. cause some people consider 1-5 million to be a lot of $$$, some think a lot = more like 20-50+, some think in the hundreds of millions, & for SOME “very very wealthy” means a sum closer to or past the billion dollar mark. It’s a relative.)
      …Once folks acquire an amount deemed as “as much as can be”, ie. enough.. Then at that point shouldn’t they jst work for free..?? — Like once a major corporate CEO, or hedge-fund manager, or board-member, reaches their wealth quota limit.. Then shouldn’t they stop continuing to receive ridiculously over-inflated 7&8 figure bonuses..??
      (Or at the very least, shouldnt the amounts start going down for them rather than up..??)

      (Smh……..) The argument you made is jst absurd & lacking in logic. Try applying some critical thinking when attempting to reason something out next time.

    • ericcartman23 says:

      The difference is that Jennifer Lawrence makes so much more money and is a mediocre actress who talks about that in several interviews. Gillian is the greatest actress in television history and she has rarely talked about that matter in over 22 years. She didn’t bring the discussion up, it came up through a question and by the way she’s done so many interviews so far(by herself or with David) and she has NEVER talked about that. So you’re completely wrong.

    • Mike says:

      Wow, what an unbelievably dumb comment. Who cares if she’s rich? She’s less rich than the men who do the same job she does, even on a show that became a hit because of these two people. There would be no show without either one of them. I’m guessing you’re probably too stupid to realize that poor women make less than men who do the same job. Pay disparity happens at ALL levels.

    • LOL says:

      So because she is wealthy, she should shut up and work for less than her counterpart? Flawless logic.

  32. John Miller says:

    THAT is insane! I would think that people would want to see Anderson as much, or maybe even more, than Duchovny.

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