The #metoo and Time’s Up movements can make headlines, women still win less than men in Hollywood, as shown by the example of Claire Foy, Queen of England in The Crown but less paid than her partner male.
Sign of the times, the sentence was slipped almost innocuous, Tuesday, but quickly went around the world.
In the first two seasons of Netflix’s hit series The Crown, Claire Foy, who played Queen Elizabeth, a central character in the story, won less than Matt Smith, the actor who played her husband, Prince Philip.
The disparity between the stamps of actors and actresses in Hollywood is not a revelation. The ranking of the highest paid actors in the world, published by Forbes magazine, shows it systematically, every year.
In 2017, Emma Stone, the highest paid actress in the world, would only have arrived in 15th position if the ranking was mixed.
But aside from Forbes , numbers are scarce, no serious study is available, and omerta was so far the rule.
“Your agents told you not to talk about it,” says Melissa Silverstein, founder of the Women and Hollywood website. “It was not something we shared.”
But in recent months, thanks to the historic momentum created by the Weinstein affair, the languages have been loosened and the ears have been more reactive to what used to be ordinary.
In early January, the American press revealed that the actress Michelle Williams had collected $ 1,000 to return scenes from the film All the Money in the World , when his partner on the screen, Mark Wahlberg, had been paid 1.5 million of dollars.
The American actor, who is incidentally the highest paid Hollywood, eventually publicly pledge to pay the full stamp to the legal defense fund of the new association Time’s Up, born from the Weinstein affair.
For Melissa Silverstein, the simple fact of approaching the subject is “revolutionary. It’s a factor of change.
Because it operates on a different dynamic, television seemed to have, for quite a long time, an often more egalitarian approach.
The Friends series , a phenomenon of the ’90s, will remain on this subject as a pioneer, because the six main actors, three women and three men, collectively negotiated their salary, a very rare practice at the time, getting everyone to win. the same thing.
Examples have multiplied since, more often in sitcoms than drama series nonetheless.
The top five comedians of the two most popular American series currently in the United States, The Big Bang Theory and Game of Thrones , all earn the same salary.
A “train in motion”
Gray’s Anatomy heroine Ellen Pompeo also reacted strongly when she announced that she had renegotiated her contract and would now receive $ 20 million a year.
“If we want to talk about change, (salary) must be part of it,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
The anecdote of The Crown nevertheless shows that inequalities remain, behind the small screen as the big one. Because both environments work essentially on the principle of history, says Melissa Silverstein.
“In Hollywood, a person’s worth is what she touched for her role before,” she says.
But Claire Foy, if she already had a long career behind her when accepting The Crown , had not had a role as publicized as Matt Smith, main character of the British series to hit Doctor Who for four seasons.
Several netizens underlined Wednesday this difference on Twitter, contesting that the difference of treatment is related to the sex. “After season one, Claire Foy won all these awards (a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award). Why was not it increased? She had become better known, “said Erin Therese (Erin-ThereseV), also on Twitter.
“From now on, nobody will be better paid than the queen,” said Suzanne Mackie, one of the producers of the series.
An upgrade that will not benefit Claire Foy, who will be replaced by Olivia Colman, to play an older queen Elizabeth in season 3.
But for Melissa Silverstein, it’s the reach of the ad that matters, showing that studios and producers can no longer get out of the debate.
“You have to get on this train because it’s running,” she says. “We have to go in the direction of history.”