The most recent bombshell from the cyber-attack on Sony reveals that the studio paid Jennifer Lawrence’s male co-stars in American Hustle more than both her or Amy Adams. Further salary analysis from the Daily Beast shows the studio has a structural gender pay-gap that runs from A-list celebrities to normal employees.
Emails leaked by the pro-North Korean hacker group Guardians of Peace portray Sony’s top executives as vulgar, racist, and now, sexist. Previously bombshells include racist jokes about President Barack Obama, and a swear-laden email conversation calling Angelina Jolie a “minimally talented spoiled brat.“
In the most recent scandal, executive emails reveal that male co-stars in American Hustle made more than stars Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence. Internally, at least one executive was calling the situation unfair a few weeks before the movie’s debut.
An email dated December 5, 2013, leaked by the pro-North Korean hacker group “Guardians of Peace,” shows Andrew Gumpert laying out the back-end compensation (payment made to actors depending how well the movie sold).
“The current talent deals are: O’Russell: 9%; Cooper: 9%; Bale: 9%; Renner: 9%; Lawrence: 7%; Adams: 7%.”
David O. Russell was the director of the movie.
American Hustle came out on December 20, 2013, about a year and a half after the release of the first Hunger Games movie in March 23, 2012. Meaning that Lawrence was already huge, and although her new-found fame could land her some high-paying, quality roles, it still wasn’t enough to get paid more than her male co-stars at Sony Pictures and its subsidiary, Columbia.
To be fair, Andrew Gumpert complains about the gender gap in the same email to Amy Pascal and SPE Motion Picture Group head Doug Belgrad, according to the Daily Beast.
“Got a steve warren/gretchen rush call that it’s unfair the male actors get 9% in the pool and jennifer is only at 7pts. You may recall Jennifer was at 5 (amy was and is at 7) and WE anted in 2 extra points for Jennifer to get her up to 7. If anyone needs to top jennifer up it’s megan. BUT I think amy and Jennifer are tied so upping JL, ups AA. [sic]”
“Megan” in the email refers to Megan Ellison. According to the Daily Beast, she is the head of Annapurna Pictures, which co-financed the movie.
So what was Amy Pascal’s reply to the email?
Simply, “there is truth here.”
According to salary information also leaked by the hackers, Pascal was dead-on. A leaked employee payroll spreadsheet shows that out of the 17 employees making over a million dollars a year, only one was female. No example shows the pay-gap better than the two directors of production at Columbia Pictures, Michael De Luca and Hannah Minghella. Michael gets paid $2.4 million annually, whereas Hannah, who does the exact same job, gets paid $1.5 million.
After the Sony leak, it’s hard to imagine how many awkward conversations and apologies are taking place across Hollywood. Hopefully there will be one positive: policies might be changed so that male and female actors and executives are paid huge sums of money equally, rather than men getting paid more for the same work.
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