In today’s television world, there are some pretty amazing lead female characters. Lagertha in History Channel’s Vikings, the clones all played by Tatiana Maslany in BBC America’s Orphan Black, and Dolores in HBO’s Westworld are just a small selection of female characters that dominate television. While these characters may be considered the leads — or joint leads — in their shows, they are quite often not equal when it comes to the payroll.
In a long history of females being paid much less than their male counterparts, the tides are slowly turning as actors — both male and female — fight for equal rights for female actors. Now, HBO has stepped up and given Evan Rachel Wood the same pay as the male counterparts in their sci-fi series, Westworld.
Evan Rachel Wood plays the role of Dolores Abernathy, a robot — or host — who is becoming sentient. Dolores’ role was crucial to the Season 1 plot of Westworld. However, Evan Rachel Wood earned much less than actors who co-starred alongside her. This is set to change, though, as her pay rate is brought to match her co-stars, Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris. However, this pay rise will not be effective until Season 3 of Westworld.
As a result of the #TimesUp campaign, some networks are attempting to rectify the unequal pay scheme between men and women in the acting profession. While this campaign initially sought to address the sexual harassment of women within the entertainment industry, another part of it now delves into the gender pay gaps that arise between male and female actors. Notoriously, women have been paid a lot less than their male counterparts — even if their role was larger than their male co-stars were.
HBO executive, Casey Bloys, made a statement to The Hollywood Reporter indicating the network had gone through their current programming and fixed every discrepancy in regard to pay inequality.
“We’ve proactively gone through all of our shows — in fact, we just finished our process where we went through and made sure that there were no inappropriate disparities in pay; and where there were, if we found any, we corrected it going forward.”
When this statement was initially made, Bloys would not confirm which actresses from their network had been given a pay rise. However, Evan Rachel Wood has now released a video statement to The Wrap that indicated she was one of those who received a pay rise.
“I think I’m just now to the point where I’m getting paid the same as my male co-stars. I was just told that, you know, ‘Hey, you’re getting equal pay.’ And I almost got emotional. I was like, ‘I have never been paid the same as my male counterparts … never, never.'”
Season 2 of HBO’s Westworld premieres on Sunday, April 22 at 9 p.m. ET.