In Hollywood, wage inequality is still an issue that defies laws of the economy. Natalie Portman, winner of two Golden Globes and Oscar for “Black Swan,” revealed in an interview with Marie Claire that she was paid three times less than her co-star Ashton Kutcher, for the film “Sex Friends”.
If we compare the earning between 2008 and 2011 by the last four films in which the two actors appeared in before “Sex Friends”, we can see that those of Ashton Kutcher are 1.4 times higher than those of Natalie Portman. Not to mention that the actress had played in 3 episodes of “Star Wars” before 2011, which had totaled $1.165 billion.
Portman told the magazine that she was aware of the difference in treatment, but that she had not dared to raise it publicly at the time.
“I knew,” she said, “but I’m done with it, because there’s this story in Hollywood. The higher your rating, the more you get paid. They said that he should be paid three times more than me. We are paid very well, it’s hard to complain. Compared to men, in most trades, women earn 80 cents when men take a dollar. In Hollywood, it’s 30 cents a dollar.”
Ashton Kutcher reacted to this interview with a tweet: “I am so proud of Natalie and all the women who stand up to stop pay inequalities!”
So proud of Natalie and all women who stand up for closing the gender pay gap! https://t.co/AV1uYY6KIe
— ashton kutcher (@aplusk) January 11, 2017
It seems that the rating of the Hollywood actors is not only fixed on their box office success. But it is difficult to know the precise criteria. Natalie Portman took advantage of the promotion made around the film “Jackie” to put the subject of inequality on the table.
At the time of “Sex Friends,” she had not yet received her Oscar for “Black Swan”, but she had, to her credit, blockbusters like “V for Vendetta” (70 million dollars at the box office) and ” Closer “(33.9 million).
In October 2015, Jennifer Lawrence had already raised the question denouncing the wage disparities between men and women. We hope the awareness and celebrity publicity will bring more attention to the problem.