Jennifer Lawrence takes a stand on feminism, unequal pay in Hollywood

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Jennifer Lawrence
Cast member Jennifer Lawrence poses at the premiere of "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" in Los Angeles, California November 17, 2014. The movie opens in the U.S. on Nov. 21. Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence has taken a firm stand on feminism and unequal pay in the film industry.

Lawrence addressed the issues of wage gap and sexism by writing an essay for Lena Dunham’s “Lenny Letter,” an online feminist newsletter. The actress wrote about her male co-stars getting paid more than her in the op-ed titled “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-stars?”

In the essay, she wrote that after the Sony email hack, she discovered  that she was paid significantly less than her male co-stars in “American Hustle.” The actress said she got mad at herself and not at Sony Entertainment, adding, "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. (I told you it wasn’t relatable, don’t hate me)."

Lawrence wrote that she wanted to be liked and not come across as someone who is "difficult or spoiled." But, the leaked emails made her realise that her male co-stars did not worry about being called "difficult or spoiled."

 

The “Hunger Games” star also said that when women are blunt, everyone thinks that she said something offensive, but it not the case when men are speaking their minds. She gave an example: "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. I was so shocked because nothing that I said was personal, offensive, or, to be honest, wrong."  

She asked, “Could there still be a lingering habit of trying to express our opinions in a certain way that doesn’t 'offend' or 'scare' men?"

Lawrence also pointed out that a producer called her fellow actress Angelina Jolie a “spoiled brat” in one of Sony’s hacked emails, adding, "for some reason, I just can't picture someone saying that about a man."

The actress believes that women should be taken more seriously at the workplace and given the same respect as men. Lawrence, at the same time, declared that she’s “over” trying hard to be “likable.”

Earlier this year, Sony Pictures’ former co-chairman Amy Pascal explained the reason why Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars. “I run a business. People want to work for less money, I pay them less money… Women shouldn't be so grateful. Know what you're worth. Walk away,” she said.

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