Susan Sarandon Says Paul Newman Once Gave Up Part of His Salary to Make Up for Pay Gap
“He was a gem.”
The #MeToo movement, which has made headlines over the past 12 months as women across industries call for equal pay for equal work and an end to gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace, was barely a glimmer in the 1990s.
But even back then, a few good men were fighting alongside women to address the gender pay gap.
That includes actor Paul Newman, who, according to Susan Sarandon, gave up part of his salary for the 1998 film “Twilight” to bridge the pay gap between co-leads.
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On Friday, Sarandon spoke out about the gender pay gap, as well as the #MeToo movement, in an interview with BBC 5.
"That happened to me with Paul Newman at one point, when I did a film with him ages ago,” she said of being paid less than male co-stars Newman and Gene Hackman for “Twilight.” "[Newman] stepped forward and said, 'Well I'll give you part of mine.'”
“He was a gem,” she added.
Although women make, on average, 80 cents for every dollar men make, the film industry has seen examples of pay gaps far greater than that.
Natalie Portman once said that for women in the entertainment industry, the gender pay gap is not 80 cents to the dollar, but 30 cents to the dollar.
In January, actor Mark Wahlberg was reportedly paid $1.5 million to reshoot a scene for the aptly named, “All the Money in the World,” while co-star Michelle Williams received about $1,000 for the same reshoot — good for less than 1% of Wahlberg’s payout.
Indeed, Forbes reports that Hollywood’s top ten actresses made about one-third of the top paid male actress in 2017.
A big part of the problem is not just unequal wages, but unequal opportunities granted to women and men in the industry. Women directed fewer than 10% of top-grossing films in 2016 — and were underrepresented across the board, comprising 13% of writers, 17% of executive producers, and just 5% of cinematographers, according to Hollywood Reporter.
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