Ellen Pompeo, Gina Rodriguez, Emma Roberts, and Gabrielle Union discuss women’s constant fight for equal pay in a new interview with PorterEdit.
Pompeo, 49, who famously renegotiated her “Grey’s Anatomy” salary to bag a whopping $20 million a season to make her one of the highest-paid women on television, explains: “We’re in very rarified air. Women with normal jobs are in different situations to us so I sort of feel very out of touch or arrogant even, to talk about my fight for my pay because I was in a very specific situation where I had a very real number.
“I had seen that ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ had grossed $3.7 billion over 15 years and I could take that very real number and attribute my face, my voice. Even though we struggle in our industries, we’re struggling a lot less than, let’s say, people who are working normal jobs.”
Union, 46, who is known for playing bad-ass roles on screen, continues: “You feel like a jackass; you feel like you should just be grateful and be quiet because it’s more [money] than others [make].
“But at the same time, when those lists come out, when Forbes drops the top-paid actresses in television or the top-paid actresses in film, and there’s no women of colour on it, it’s like, well why didn’t you speak up?”
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#PorterEdit’s annual Women in Television issue is back, where some of the industry’s most incredible stars debate the issues facing females working in TV. From fair pay to power imbalances and speaking up on set, @EllenPompeo, #GinaRodriguez (@HereIsGina), @GabUnion and @EmmaRoberts get vocal in this unmissable interview. Photography @msprouty Styling @edmondalison
Roberts, 27, who is known for “Scream Queens” and “American Horror Story”, continues, according to Just Jared: “I’ve taken less money knowing I’m taking less than a male co-star because they’re telling me this is as much as we’re going to give you. Your male co-star is getting more; if you don’t take this deal, another girl will.
“And I take it because I’m so passionate [about the project]. I was embarrassed to tell my friends because what if my girlfriends are making as much money as their male co-stars.”
Rodriguez, 34, who rose to fame on “Jane the Virgin”, adds: “I’ve recently been faced with being offered a project where my fellow actress was offered it prior [to me].
“She tells me how much she was getting paid for it, and then I ask for the same amount and they say no because you’re not worth that much and she was because she’s bigger than I am. But it’s the same job, the same amount of hours.”