Dominic West has said Ruth Wilson should get paid more than he on “The Affair” and not less, as she earlier this week claimed was the case. Wilson scooped a Golden Globe in 2015 for her role in the Showtime drama. West said neither actor knew what the other was paid, but he supported his co-star in the wake of her comments.
“In fact she should get paid more because she won a Golden Globe for the part,” West told Channel 4 news in the U.K. “There was absolutely no reason for her to get paid less than me, and that’s part of what is being hopefully confronted now. You can’t get away with it anymore, and there’s no reason why a producer should get away with that.”
West was put on the spot after Wilson had told the Radio Times she got paid less than her male peers, including her co-star on “The Affair,” which has been renewed for a fourth season. She said: “Certainly when I signed up to that project, I would have got paid less. Then they [the producers] might argue, ‘Well, he’s already done a major American TV show [‘The Wire’] so he’s already got a level.’ But even after a Golden Globe I’m not going to be on parity.”
West, who was promoting Palme d’Or-winning film “The Square,” said he would be willing to take a pay cut to ensure parity with female co-stars on an indie project where funds were tight. “I would as long as the resources are limited, and in an independent film then of course, but in a long-running TV show money is not a problem and there’s no excuse for it.” he said.
The stars’ comments come as the gender pay gap is in the spotlight. In the U.K. pubcaster the BBC has been lambasted after publishing figures that showed most of its top-earning talent are men.
British actor West’s comments came a day after one of his peers, former “Doctor Who” star Christopher Eccleston, weighed into the gender pay debate. “In television I would be paid more if myself and [“Doctor Foster” star] Suranne [Jones] were in a drama. She’s probably got a BAFTA and I haven’t, but I will be paid more and it’s wrong,” he told the BBC.