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Stars don’t align for equal pay in Hollywood

Drastic gender gap proves inequality in women's salaries

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Art by Zoya Boskovic

Art by Zoya Boskovic

Art by Zoya Boskovic

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This year’s Forbes list of highest paid actors and actresses illustrates the gap between men and women across all industries,but in particular Hollywood. The list, published on August 22, ranks Mark Wahlberg as the highest paid actor and Emma Stone as the highest paid actress. Wahlberg earned $68 million, while Stone only earned $29 million, less than half of Wahlberg’s salary. While Wahlberg ranked first on the list, Stone ranks at number 15. The top ten men on this list made an accumulated $488.5 million, while the top ten women earned only $172.5 million.

The large disparity between actors and actresses can be attributed to a lack of roles for women in high budget movies. In fact, women only make up 28.7 percent of speaking roles in movies. Hollywood’s gender pay gap is even more drastic than other industries, “In most professions, women make 80 cents to the dollar. In Hollywood, [they] are making 30 cents to the dollar,” Actress Natalie Portman said.

In 2014, a Sony hack showed that the gender pay gap effected movie makers too, when it exposed that the salary of co-president Hannah Minghella was one million less than Michael De Luca, though they both had the same job. Many would argue that the differences in pay between men and women are appropriate since men work more difficult jobs, but Sony’s gap between co-presidents shows that often women are paid considerably less for working the same jobs.

While most people will never become movie stars or Hollywood executives, Hollywood’s gender wage gap mirrors discrepancies in every field. The national pay gap estimates that women earn 80 percent of what men earn, but factors such as age and ethnicity can make that number even greater. While many would suggest furthered  education as a solution, research shows that women with high school degrees or college degrees earn 77.5 percen of what men earn, but women with bachelor’s degrees or advanced degrees earn 74 percent men’s salaries. These discrepancies show that it is difficult for women to reduce the pay gap on their own, and change can only be made through the actions of many.

Women deserve equal pay for their work and adequate opportunities. Steps should be taken to insure equality in the workplace, whether that be in Hollywood or in any other industry.

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Stars don’t align for equal pay in Hollywood