Unlike his American Hustle co-star Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner is not interested in helping out actresses reach equal pay. His reason? Renner doesn’t think it’s his job to negotiate as an actor. So, basically he’s claiming to know nothing about the “business” end of showbiz even though it’s essential to move upward in Hollywood.
The fact that women are paid less than men in any field doesn’t come as a shock. It’s been talked about on different media outlets, and it’s been discussed in Hollywood, as actresses also see a big difference in their salaries from their male co-stars. That said, the issue of equal pay got a lot of traction recently when one of Hollywood’s most popular actresses, Jennifer Lawrence, penned an essay questioning why she was paid less than her male co-stars.
— Renner Film News (@UnofficialJR_PR) September 7, 2015
If someone who’s been having a huge moment in Hollywood for the last three years is having a hard time getting an equal level of recognition for her duties on a set, then this poses as a huge problem.
Lawrence’s essay was written in response to the Sony leak that detailed the actress’ earnings while shooting American Hustle and revealed the ugly side of Hollywood. Even if you’re America’s “It” girl on a major motion picture, you’re still going to struggle.
Many people came to Lawrence’s defense and used the essay as a platform to talk about these injustices. Even Lawrence’s American Hustle co-star Bradley Cooper vowed to aid in fixing the problem by negotiating with his female co-stars before they commit to a film so they have equal pay. American Hustle co-star Jeremy Renner isn’t taking this stance at all.
— Renner Film News (@UnofficialJR_PR) August 3, 2015
During a press conference, the actor was asked whether he would also be willing to negotiate with his female co-stars so it’s a level playing field. Renner said bluntly, “That’s not my job.” He continued, “I don’t know contracts and money and all that sort of stuff.”
From the tone of the comment, it sounds like Renner, someone who earned more than Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle, but worked fewer days, doesn’t want the blame to be put on him, and by taking on this stance, he looks the other way and ignores this problem, while simultaneously adding to it.
He then decided to elaborate on what his job is as an actor,
“I’m a performer and I know human behavior. When it comes to that sort of stuff I let other people deal with that. I do what I’m good at, that’s what I focus on.”
Although actors aren’t usually involved in the negotiating process (that job is for agent, managers and lawyers), if they chose to, actors could easily be involved in the process, as Lawrence was when she was negotiating her contract for American Hustle.
In the essay, Lawrence wrote, “When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with d—s, I didn’t get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. 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.”
Jeremy Renner, whose role wasn’t as large as Jennifer Lawrence’s, made nine points off the back-end deal, while Lawrence made seven. Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, and Renner all made more money than Lawrence, as well as Amy Adams.
[Photo by Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images]