One of the more interesting tidbits to emerge from the Sony Hack was that Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams didn’t get paid the same as their male co-stars on American Hustle, confirming that Hollywood has a wage gap. Now, in the wake of that revelation, Page Six says that Charlize Theron is “taking a stand” and demanding that she be paid equally to Chris Hemsworth on their upcoming Snow White prequel, The Huntsman. And it worked—Theron will receive $10 million in salary, same as Hemsworth.
If there’s any silver lining to the Sony Hack, it’s this - that in exposing what was once suspicion and rumor as fact, some positive changes can be made in how the industry conducts business. Actresses (and their agents) will be a lot more attuned to asking about their compensation in relation to their male counterparts, only the beginning of people renegotiating contracts. And if the chorus gets loud enough, maybe studios will just start offering equitable deals from the beginning.
The irony here is that I heard Kristen Stewart’s departure from the franchise was motivated by money. Snow White and the Huntsman did well, but not so well that Universal isn’t being careful about how they’re producing the follow-up. If they made a sequel, Stewart’s salary would double, and she would also be entitled to significant points off the back end. By making a Hemsworth-centric PREQUEL, though, Universal was able to get out of any contractual obligation to Stewart. Yes, yes The Affair, but as I said back when that happened, if studios got upset every time something like that happened, there would be no one left to work with. I’m inclined to believe that they were looking for ways to lower production costs, and nixing Stewart’s expensive contract was a viable option.
But now Universal ends up handing Theron the same expensive contract they thought they eliminated with Stewart. Perhaps Theron won’t get the same back-end compensation—there are no specifics about that—but $10 million would have been Stewart’s up-front pay. So in the end, they’re still paying their leading duo $20 million. It’s just desserts. Equal pay for equal work, you cheap bastards.
Here are some photos of Chris Hemsworth at the premiere of Blackhat, the Michael Mann movie in which he plays a hacker. I don’t understand anything about his career. He’s the least profitable Avenger without a non-Marvel financial hit, and yet top-tier directors fall all over themselves to work with him and he is getting most handsomely compensated for it (outside of Marvel). He has REALLY good agents.