Emmy Rossum Is Reportedly Fighting for Salary Equity for Her "Shameless" Role
It's no secret that the biggest stars in Hollywood are taking their struggles negotiating equal wages public: Emma Watson, Geena Davis, Emma Stone, Jennifer Aniston, Robin Wright, Jennifer Lawrence, Patricia Arquette, and Taraji P. Henson have all spoken out about the wage gap that privileges male stars above their female counterparts — and, in Arquette's case, the repercussions that sadly come from making your case for equality. Now another voice has reportedly joined the growing chorus: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Emmy Rossum is asking for salary equity with "Shameless" co-star William H. Macy, following an offer for pay parity reportedly extended several months ago.
Here's what that boils down to: Rossum is allegedly asking to be paid more per episode than Macy given that for the past seven seasons of the show she's been making much less. Macy's also recently renegotiated his contract for the yet-to-start-filming eighth season to a level that "puts his salary in the upper echelon of cable dramas," according to THR.
Rossum plays the Gallagher family's matriarch and oldest child on the Showtime comedy-drama; Macy plays her deadbeat dad. And although Macy's always made more than the rest of his cast, a decision citing his film cred, Rossum's character gets at least equal billing as his (if not more), is often the "focal point of the series," and is a key part of every episode — despite a dimmer "critical spotlight," as Jezebel points out. Macy's character has also nearly been killed off. It's further worth pointing out that Rossum directed her first episode of the series last season.
The negotiations have caused "Shameless" to go on hold until they're resolved (no comment on the matter from Warner Bros. TV or Showtime yet, BTW), but according to THR's sources, a salary raise for Rossum could mean that the rest of the cast gets a raise, too. And although more money for everyone generally sounds like a great idea, Teresa Jusino at The Mary Sue raises an interesting question: "Why is it that, after an actress demands a salary increase, everyone needs to get one, but when men are getting paid more than women, that's totally fine and par for the course?" Indeed.
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