Jennifer Lawrence is one of the highest paid actresses in the world — and yet she’s still paid millions of dollars less than her male co-stars.
The Oscar-winning actress slammed Hollywood’s persistent gender pay gap in a new interview with Vogue, telling the magazine that while actors are often “overpaid,” the discrepancy still stings.
“It doesn’t matter how much I do,” she said. “I’m still not going to get paid as much as that guy, because of my vagina?”
Lawrence, 32, earned $5 million less than Leonardo DiCaprio for Netflix’s star-studded dystopian film “Don’t Look Up,” which was released in December 2021, Vanity Fair reported.
“I’m extremely fortunate and happy with my deal,” Lawrence told Vanity Fair shortly before the movie’s release. “But in other situations, what I have seen — and I’m sure other women in the workforce have seen as well — is that it’s extremely uncomfortable to inquire about equal pay. And if you do question something that appears unequal, you’re told it’s not gender disparity, but they can’t tell you what exactly it is.”
On average, women earn about $1.1 million less than their male co-stars, according to 2017 research from three professors: Sofia Izquierdo Sanchez of the University of Huddersfield, Maria Navarro Paniagua of Lancaster University, and John S Heywood of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
For actors over 50, that gap is even wider: Older actresses earned almost $4 million less than male actors. Other studies have noted that women of color are significantly underpaid compared to white women.
This isn’t the first time Lawrence is speaking out about Hollywood’s pay gap. The hacking of Sony Pictures’ computer systems in 2014 revealed that Lawrence’s compensation for the 2013 film “American Hustle” had been much less than her male co-stars — Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale and Jeremy Renner received a 9% cut of the film’s profits, while Lawrence and Amy Adams saw 7%, according to Business Insider.
In an essay for Lena Dunham’s now-defunct Lenny Letter newsletter, Lawrence explained that after the Sony hack, her anger wasn’t directed at the studio or her co-stars.
“I got mad at myself,” she wrote. “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.”
Lawrence went on to explain that she hesitated to negotiate her deal as she didn’t want to come across as “difficult” or “spoiled.” “At the time, that seemed like a fine idea,” she added, “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.'”