Jennifer Lawrence Breaks Silence About Making Less Than Male Co-Stars in 'American Hustle'

by Jackie Willis 3:21 AM PDT, October 13, 2015
Playing Jennifer Lawrence Breaks Silence About Making Less Than Male Co-Stars in 'American Hustle'

During the Sony hacks last December, Jennifer Lawrence found out with the rest of world that her American Hustle salary was significantly less than her male co-stars Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and Christian Bale. Nearly a year later, the Oscar winner gets pretty candid as to why she didn't fight harder for more money, and why she doesn't blame Sony.

"When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn't get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself," Lawrence writes in an op-ed titled "Why Do These Dudes Make More Than Me?" for Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner's Lenny newsletter. "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."

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The Hunger Games star admits that "there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced [her] decision to close the deal without a real fight."

"I didn’t want to seem 'difficult' or 'spoiled.' At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn’t worry about being 'difficult' or 'spoiled,'" she continues. "This is an element of my personality that I’ve been working against for years, and based on the statistics, I don’t think I’m the only woman with this issue."

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She asks, "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 then recalls an instance where she gave her opinion in "a clear and no-bullsh** way," and still got some blow back.

"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 recalls. "All I hear and see all day are men speaking their opinions, and I give mine in the same exact manner, and you would have thought I had said something offensive."

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The 25-year-old actress doesn't back down in stating how she thinks women should be treated in the workplace. "I’m over trying to find the 'adorable' way to state my opinion and still be likable! F**k that," she declares. "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."

Further calling out her American Hustle male co-stars, she continues, "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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In February, Amy Pascal, former co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, explained why Lawrence was paid less than her Hustle co-stars. "Here's the problem: I run a business. People want to work for less money, I pay them less money," she said at the Women in the World conference in San Francisco. "Women shouldn't be so grateful. Know what you're worth. Walk away."

Lawrence isn't the first or the last woman to speak out about the double standards in Hollywood. From Meryl Streep to Mindy Kaling, numerous actresses have been told they're not pretty enough for the entertainment industry. Here are their stories: