A-List Women Fighting The Gender Pay Gap

BY Erica Gonzales and Samantha Hamilton Rushforth / Feb 22 2017 / 21:19 PM

Why Hollywood is paving the way for economical equality

A-List Women Fighting The Gender Pay Gap

Now more than ever, women from all walks of life are speaking up about the political, social and economic injustices they face because of their gender. Whilst we might think of Tinseltown as exempt from these kinds of struggles, these celebrities are speaking out about how even in one of the most glamorous and sought-after industries in the world, they still face many forms of inequality... 

1. Beyoncé

"We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality. It isn't a reality yet. Today, women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but the average working woman earns only 77 percent of what the average working man makes. But unless women and men both say this is unacceptable, things will not change."

Beyoncé, in The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Pushes Back from the Brink

2. Jennifer Lawrence

"When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid... I didn't get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn't want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don't need."

Jennifer Lawrence, in a Lenny Letter article from October 2015

3. Emma Watson

“It just always reveals to me how many misconceptions and what a misunderstanding there is about what feminism is, feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality.”

Emma Watson, BBC Interview in 2017 

4. Charlize Theron

"This is a good time for us to bring this to a place of fairness, and girls need to know that being a feminist is a good thing. It doesn't mean that you hate men. It means equal rights. If you're doing the same job, you should be compensated and treated in the same way."

Charlize Theron, in the June 2015 issue of Elle UK

5. Rosario Dawson 

"If it was just women getting paid less than men then that would just be one thing, but even among women, especially according to race and privilege, there are a lot of women who are getting paid more than even some men are. It's a very complex situation when you think about what are black women making in comparison to white women, what are Latin women making, what are Asian women making in comparison, and it gets even more convoluted."

Rosario Dawson, in a 2015 interview with MTV News

6. Zoe Saldana

"I'm known for being selective in parts I either pick or pursue, and what matters most is that they be good female roles where the character isn't cardboard or objectified, and where there's real substance. No generic girlfriend or wife, and no sexy bombshell. Enough of that already!"

Manhattan magazine, December 2013

7. Lena Dunham

"Feminists believe that men and women should have the same opportunities. If you are a feminist you believe in equal rights as a whole. That's not a concept you can really shoot down. We're going to be compensated fairly for our jobs, we're going to be given the opportunity to make choices about our bodies and we're going to be safe."

JFL42 Comedy Festival in Toronto, Fall 2014

8. Meryl Streep

"No one has ever asked an actor, 'You're playing a strong-minded man.' We assume that men are strong-minded, or have opinions. But a strong-minded woman is a different animal."

60 Minutes, December 2011

10. Kerry Washington

"Having your story told as a woman, as a person of colour... Or as any member of any disenfranchised community is sadly often still a radical idea."

During her GLAAD Vanguard Award acceptance speech, March 2015

10. Natalie Portman

"I want every version of a woman and a man to be possible...The fallacy in Hollywood is that if you're making a 'feminist' story, the woman kicks ass and wins. That's not feminist; that's macho. A movie about a weak, vulnerable woman can be feminist if it shows a real person that we can empathize with."

Elle UK, November 2013 issue

11. Nicole Kidman

"Obviously we need to create more opportunities, it's not an even playing field...We also need to put cameras in little girls' hands and get them to tell stories and increase their confidence so that they can feel powerful."

At the Women in Film's Crystal + Lucy Awards in Los Angeles, June 2015

12. Amanda Seyfried

"I think people think that just because I'm easy going and game to do things, I'll just take as little as they offer. It's not about how much you get, it's about how fair it is."

The Sunday Times, July 2015 [Via The Independent]

13. Rooney Mara

"To me, the thing that's more unfair than the pay is the terminology that's used to describe actresses who have a point of view, and want to have a voice in their life and their career, and what they choose to do. I've been called horrible things. If a man was acting in the same way that I was acting, it would just be considered normal. To me, that's the thing I find so frustrating is calling women spoiled brats. We just want to have a voice in our life, and I don't think that's anything that shouldn't be encouraged in any human."

The Guardian, October 2015

14. Gwenyth Paltrow

'Women are so powerful and so capable and to have it inferred that you have to generate yourself in any way to be likeable is abhorrent to me. With my daughter I try to find a balance of being an example for her as a woman who ... works and tries not to go out in public naked.

China Exchange London, June 2016

15. Oprah

"If I were to tell you what I got paid for movies, you would laugh."

CBS This Morning, October 2015