Natalie Portman Urges Fairness in Gender Gap Wage Discrepancy
Natalie Portman has Ashton Kutcher in her corner regarding her stance against the gender wage gap between male and female entertainers. Kutcher’s January 2017 Twitter statement confirmed his support: “So proud of Natalie and all women who stand up for closing the gender pay gap!”
What’s interesting is that Portman is referring to the pay discrepancy for her starring role compared to that of Kutcher in the 2011 Rom-Com No Strings Attached. She’s been quiet for over five years on the subject while accepting starring roles in films like Jackie and Planetarium. She recently rolled out her distress and concern about unequal wages during an interview with Marie Claire UK.
Portman has several reasons for not discussing the issue until now. She brought up the high earnings stars make when compared to the average salaries for other skills. Even making a third of the amount Ashton Kutcher received for his role in No Strings Attached, she felt it was a significant amount and hard to complain about.
Another reason for accepting the discrepancy was the hesitancy to upset the way Hollywood establishes pay rates for men and women. “Quotes” are used to determine what a person should be offered. The contract she was offered and signed was less than Ashton because his “quote” rating exceeded hers by three times. At the time, it made sense for Natalie to accept the reasoning behind her co-star’s significantly higher salary. It represented a process that had been followed in the film industry for decades. As in many other industries, men are paid more than women for identical or similar jobs, with only a few loudly voiced complaints rocking the boat.
The actress is secure enough in her fame and ability to become part of the solution in equalizing Hollywood’s gender gap wage discrepancy. She insisted on a female director before accepting the role of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in an upcoming film.