Jennifer Lawrence Asks, "Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?" in Her Honest Essay
"...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,'" wrote Jennifer Lawrence in her pointed essay in the Lenny newsletter.
Lawrence's essay, titled "Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars," is an honest, open reflection on why exactly she's paid less than men. The infamous Sony hack in 2014 brought to light the fact that she and her female co-star Amy Adams made 20 percent less than their male co-stars in American Hustle. J. Law admits, "When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than [my male co-stars], I didn't get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early."
We already know Hollywood is struggling when it comes to gender equality, and countless women are speaking out against the gender gap looming in the film industry as of late (you remember Patricia Arquette's spot-on Oscar speech). On average, women make just 70 cents to every dollar men make (across all industries, not just in film). So while we're talking about millions here with Lawrence, take note, because the struggle is real no matter what your position and salary.
"Could there still be a lingering habit of trying to express our opinions in a certain way that doesn't 'offend' or ' scare' men?” asked Lawrence. Did Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner fear they were being "difficult" or "spoiled" when negotiating their salaries? We're guessing they didn’t. In fact, men are often applauded for negotiating and knowing their value.
Women should be no different. In order to move the needle, women can and should stop worrying about being likable and speak up for what they deserve. "I'm over trying to find the 'adorable' way to state my opinion and still be likable! F*ck 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."
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is just another reason why we respect Jennifer Lawrence. If you can relate and want to talk more about negotiating for your career, send one of our Levo mentors a message with your question about negotiating. Sixty percent of millennial women aren't negotiating — don't be one of them.
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