Robin Wright, famous for her role as Claire Underwood, an intelligent but ruthless pragmatist first lady of the United States in “House of Cards,” has done something that’ll make all actresses proud. She has been able to successfully negotiate an equal salary as her male lead co-star Kevin Spacey on the show, reports The Huffington Post.
“I was like, ‘I want to be paid the same as Kevin,’” Robin Wright said in an interview at the Rockefeller Foundation. “Women earn 82 percent of what their male counterparts make, on an average,” she pointed out. “And you have to shame and guilt them [producers] into it.”
She added that “Because it was a perfect paradigm; an example to youths, ‘cause there are very few films or TV shows where the male, the patriarch and the matriarch are equal. And they are in ‘House of Cards’. And I was looking at statistics and Claire Underwood’s character was more popular than his, for a period of time and a season. So I capitalised on that moment.”
Robin Wright then recalls threatening the show’s producers in classic Carrie Underwood style. “And I was like ‘you better pay me or I’m gonna go public!’” Wright said amid cheers and applause from the audience. “And they did!” Wright adds victoriously.
The 50-year-old actress also said that it was necessary that male and female actors join hands together to fight for equality in a society that’s still male dominated and discriminates women because of their gender. “It’s just how do we join forces with the male dominant society. It’s not about shunning [men] or being this, super industrial feminister (sic); it’s been so bastardised, that term,” she said. She said it was necessary to “work as a team.” “It’s a beautiful balance, right? We couldn’t just be one gender, we’d be lost,” Robin Wright pointed out.
“It’s a beautiful balance, right? We couldn’t just be one gender, we’d be lost,” Robin Wright pointed out.
It’s a great time in Hollywood as lots of ugly issues of discrimination are being shed light upon like racism among Oscar voters and presenters and pay inequality. Both Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams spoke publicly about how they were paid less than their male co-stars in “American Hustle” following the Sony hacks. Jennifer Lawrence wrote an essay for her friend Lena Dunham’s newsletter, saying she was mad, not at Sony, but herself for not negotiating higher salaries for herself.
This is a good trend and it means producers of Hollywood movies and TV shows have been made aware of the disparity, thanks to the likes of Robin Wright. One hopes for a more gender equal and collaborative workplace in the coming days.