Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence is the first to admit that she doesn’t need the money after starring in two extremely successful action movie franchises before she turned 25.
But her movie-star salary is still subject to the gender wage gap, she wrote in an essay published Tuesday for Lenny Letter, a newsletter started by Golden Globe-winner Lena Dunham.
Lawrence — who has received praise from critics and audiences alike for turns as Katniss Everdeen and David O. Russell’s go-to leading lady — found out just how big the gender wage gap was in Hollywood after Sony’s emails were leaked online.
When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, 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. (I told you it wasn’t relatable, don’t hate me).
But if I’m honest with myself, 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.” At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn’t worry about being “difficult” or “spoiled.” This could be a young-person thing. It could be a personality thing. I’m sure it’s both. But this is an element of my personality that I’ve been working against for years, and based on the statistics, I don’t think I’m the only woman with this issue. Are we socially conditioned to behave this way? We’ve only been able to vote for what, 90 years? I’m seriously asking — my phone is on the counter and I’m on the couch, so a calculator is obviously out of the question. Could there still be a lingering habit of trying to express our opinions in a certain way that doesn’t “offend” or “scare” men?
Because of her large (or as she called them, not relatable) salaries, Lawrence wrote that she didn’t want to be perceived as “spoiled.”
“Again, this might have NOTHING to do with my vagina, but I wasn’t completely wrong when another leaked Sony email revealed a producer referring to a fellow lead actress in a negotiation as a ‘spoiled brat,'” Lawrence wrote. “For some reason, I just can’t picture someone saying that about a man.”