Jennifer Lawrence is inarguably one of the biggest stars in the world right thanks to the success of the X-Men and Hunger Games franchises. Yet the Sony hack revealed that she was paid shockingly less than her American Hustle male co-stars. From a financial angle, this didn’t really bother the spunky starlet, who’s doing quite well even without equal pay. But this discrepancy becoming a national talking point made Lawrence realize she might be part of the problem.
I’m not saying this in a blame the victim way, and neither is she. In a thoughtful essay on Lena Dunham’s Lenny, Lawrence from a recognized place of privilege revealed her thought process following the hack, and how it’s impacting how she wants to behave in the professional realm of Hollywood from now on.
I really recommend reading the whole piece, but here’s the highlights:
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 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”…
A few weeks ago at work, I spoke my mind and gave my opinion in a clear and no-bullshit way; no aggression, just blunt. The man I was working with (actually, he was working for me) said, “Whoa! We’re all on the same team here!” As if I was yelling at him…All I hear and see all day are men speaking their opinions, and I give mine in the same exact manner, and you would have thought I had said something offensive.
I’m over trying to find the “adorable” way to state my opinion and still be likable! Fuck that. I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard. It’s just heard…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.” For some reason, I just can’t picture someone saying that about a man.
See, she’s not victim blaming. Lawrence looked at a shit situation and sought what she personally could do to keep it from happening again. For her, that means owning her power as one of the biggest stars Hollywood’s got, and fighting for what she’s owed in comparison to her male peers. And not just in paychecks, but in respect and in voice.
Kristy Puchko lives in
perpetual fear that ice cream will become self-aware New York City.