Natalie Portman has dropped a bomb on Hollywood’s equal pay debate by revealing Ashton Kutcher was paid three times more than she was for 2011’s No Strings Attached.
Hollywood’s leading ladies have been calling for fairer pay ever since the 2015 Sony hack confirmed fears actresses were being paid much less than their male co-stars.
Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, and Scarlett Johansson have weighed in with their own experiences, while Sienna Miller revealed she quit a play after learning her leading man was taking home more pay.
And now it’s pregnant Portman’s turn to comment, telling Marie Claire UK she was horribly underpaid for the 2011 romantic comedy.
“Ashton Kutcher was paid three times as much as me on No Strings Attached,” she tells the publication. “I knew and I went along with it because there’s this thing with ‘quotes’ in Hollywood.
“His (quote) was three times higher than mine, so they said he should get three times more. I wasn’t as p**sed as I should have been. I mean, we get paid a lot, so it’s hard to complain, but the disparity is crazy.
“Compared to men, in most professions, women make 80 cents to the dollar. In Hollywood, we are making 30 cents to the dollar.”
The Hunger Games star Lawrence really took the pay disparity debate to a new level by writing a letter for Lena Dunham’s Lenny newsletter, titled Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars? In the 2015 article, the actress blamed herself for failing to demand a fair wage for her work on acclaimed comedy drama American Hustle.
“I got mad at myself,” she wrote. “I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early… I would be lying if I didn’t say there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced my decision to close the deal without a real fight. I didn’t want to seem ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled’.”