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After years of being paid significantly less than male co-star William H. Macy, Shameless actress Emmy Rossum is refusing to take equal pay for an answer. Rossum, who has been a leading force on the dramedy since it began in 2011, is now asking for a higher salary than Macy to compensate for nearly six years of unequal pay.
"A source close to Shameless tells Variety that the network and studio take the income disparity very seriously, but insist that the offer for parity has been on the table for a while and is not being accepted by Rossum's team," writes Variety of the news. "By offering her the same salary as Macy, this person says the network and studio are 'clearly acknowledging her importance to the show' and how her role has evolved into a crucial part over the years. 'It hasn't even been contemplated doing the show without her,' adds the source."
While Rossum is far from being the first woman to make headlines regarding pay disparities, she is one of the first to go above and beyond equal pay for ethic's sake. As Man Repeller points out, Macy came into Shameless with an extensive acting résumé and an Oscar nomination for Fargo while Rossum brought face recognition from Phantom of the Opera and Day After Tomorrow and has made a name for herself in her breakout role as Fiona Gallagher—who has been an operative part of the show since day one.
So when it comes to acting salaries, what all gets taken into account? "Is it a combo of experiences and sheer celebrity wattage? Do hours worked matter? What about size of the role?" writes Man Repeller. The answers to these questions may become a bit clearer once Showtime responds to Rossum.
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