Suzanne Somers was fired from her role on Three’s Company in 1981. She lost her job, the story goes, because she demanded payment equal to that of the male actors on the show. Now, as Somers is about to become a contestant on the new season of Dancing With the Stars, she is again speaking out about wage inequality. This time, it is in response to Patricia Arquette’s 2015 Oscar speech.
When Arquette accepted her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Boyhood, she said in part that “It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all.” Although her later comments backstage caused some controversy, she told The Wrap she has no plans to back down on the issue. She cited a statistic that in California alone women lose $33 billion a year in income due to wage inequality.
The wage inequality issue is apparently alive and well in 2015 Hollywood. The Sony hack of 2014 revealed that major female movie stars such as Jennifer Lawrence receive less pay than men for their film work. According to a Guardian report, Lawrence and Amy Adams each earned 7 percent of the profits of their film American Hustle while their male co-stars Jeremy Renner, Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale each got 9 percent.
Suzanne Somers agrees with Patricia Arquette, and referenced her time on Three’s Company in an ABC Radio interview.
“I still don’t think they should have fired me for asking to be paid commensurate with the men.”
“If you are selling more tickets than the man in the movie or the TV series, and you’ve got the talent, then you deserve to be paid commensurately. Because it’s show business.”
Since her days as a 70s sitcom star, Somers has pursued other professional endeavors. She is an entrepreneur and author on topics such as health and wellness. She told Fox she plans to be competitive on Dancing With the Stars.
“I thought what a privilege to have this opportunity to have a viewing audience of 15 million people every week. Part of my job is to make sure I stay in front of the public eye, to stay viable.”
“My strength is I like to win and I always try 100 percent. I never do anything half-ass.”
“I have no bone loss, no brain loss, I have a lot of energy and a lot of strength. My heart is perfect so I think I’m more ready than I would have been in my 20s, honest to God.”
Somers, now 68, is a cancer survivor. The new season of Dancing With the Stars gets underway on March 16.
[Suzanne Somers image courtesy of Getty]