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Wage Inequality In Hollywood

Andie Furber |
March 2, 2015 | 12:54 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Patricia Arquette delivering her Oscar speech (Twitter, @THR)
Patricia Arquette delivering her Oscar speech (Twitter, @THR)
Patricia Arquette (Best Supporting Actress winner for "Boyhood") has brought the wage gap in Hollywood into the public eye since her Oscar acceptance speech on February 22. As she took the stage at the Dolby Theatre, she championed women’s rights to the show’s 36.6 million viewers.

She said: “To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

READ MORE: Oscars 2015: Patricia Arquette Deserves Praise For Her Win And Her Message

While Arquette was criticized by many for being too political in her speech, she actually brought a very pressing issue into the spotlight. Even today in 2015, women are still not receiving equal pay to men for doing the same job. Nationwide, women are earning seventy-seven cents to every dollar that a man earns.

This inequality is present in almost every industry, but is particularly problematic in Hollywood. Despite the fact that Hollywood actors make excessively large amounts of money in comparison with the rest of the world’s working class, Hollywood’s women are being severely underpaid compared to their male counterparts. The men on Forbes’ list of highest-paid actors earn more than two and a half times as much as the women on it. In Hollywood, women are earning only forty cents to a man’s dollar. Despite the fact that this “forty percent” earning is still millions more than the average woman makes, this inequality is still a social and economic issue that should be rallying men and women everywhere.

In addition to their comparative under compensation, women in Hollywood are also severely underrepresented. Since 1998, the rate of female directors in top-grossing films has only gone up one percent. Without a significant female presence in Hollywood, this issue will never become mainstream enough to be corrected.

This is not, and never has been, just a women’s issue. This gender inequality affects everyone: people’s wives, sisters, mothers, friends, and loved ones. Even if they are not directly affected, men should speak up for the rights of the women they love. The fact that even today, when we supposedly have made serious strides in the women’s rights movement, women are earning less than men is appalling. Arquette’s controversial statements are the closest thing to progress that Hollywood has made in correcting this issue, because it has gotten people talking. Conversation is the first step toward the change that needs to happen. Thank you, Patricia Arquette. Love, women everywhere.

Reach Staff Reporter Andie Furber here.



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