Jennifer Lawrence might be the highest paid actress of 2015, but she says she’s not making nearly as much as her male co-stars. In an open essay published in Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter today, the 23-year-old wrote about her “experience as a working woman” in Hollywood and how “wanting to be liked” influenced her decision to close the deal on American Hustle “without a real fight” because she didn’t want to seem “difficult” or “spoiled.”
This all seemed like “a fine idea” until the Sony hack happened last year, Lawrence says. Lawrence saw Sony payroll information on the Internet and realized her male co-stars didn’t have to worry about being considered difficult or spoiled when negotiating their contracts. (Lawrence and fellow female co-star Amy Adams were revealed to have made less money then the film’s male leads in back-end profits.)
Several brands and female leaders in recent years have been encouraging women to lean in, boost their confidence, and stop saying sorry, which Jennifer says is “an element of [her] personality that [she’s] been working against for years.” But no longer. The actress is well and truly “over trying to find the ‘adorable’ way to state [her] opinion and still be likable!” she says in her essay, “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?”
The actor concluded her essay with her thoughts on the differences between male and female negotiations in Hollywood: “I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard. It’s just heard. Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale, and Bradley Cooper all fought and succeeded in negotiating powerful deals for themselves. If anything, I’m sure they were commended for being fierce and tactical, while I was busy worrying about coming across as a brat and not getting my fair share.”
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Do you think women are less compelled to speak their minds for fear of not being “likeable”? Should women speak their minds like men? What is your advice for women in this situation? Let us know in the comments.