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.