Jeremy Renner on Hollywood Pay Gap: ‘Not My Job’ to Negotiate Female Co-Stars’ Salaries

The Associated Press/Paramount photos
The Associated Press/Paramount photos

Hollywood is still buzzing over Jennifer Lawrence’s widely-read open letter about the film industry’s unfair pay gap.

In the letter, published in Lena Dunham’s newsletter Lenny, the Oscar-winning actress claims she was paid significantly less than her male co-stars for her work on last year’s hit film American Hustle. A number of fellow actors, both male and female, have since lent their support to the actress, including Hustle co-star Bradley Cooper, who recently told Reuters he’d like to help negotiate his female co-stars’ salaries for any upcoming films.

But one of Lawrence’s other co-stars on Hustle said he won’t be getting involved in the fight.

In an interview with Business Insider, Jeremy Renner (who, along with Cooper, reportedly earned more money than Lawrence on Hustle) said it was not an actor’s duty to participate in salary negotiations.

“That’s not my job,” Renner told the outlet when asked if he’d be joining Cooper’s efforts to fight the pay gap. “I don’t know contracts and money and all that sort of stuff.”

Renner went on to say that he does not deal with money matters in general, and simply sticks to what he’s good at: acting.

“I’m a performer and I know human behavior,” Renner said. “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.”

Several actresses have spoken out in the wake of Lawrence’s letter, including Jessica Chastain, who said she was paid “less than a quarter” of her reported salary for The Martian, and Rooney Mara, who called the wage gap “frustrating,” but said she was “still grateful to be getting paid at all for what I do.”

Lawrence will reportedly earn $20 million for Sony’s upcoming sci-fi film Passengers, while her co-star, Chris Pratt, will take home $12 million. In August, Forbes names Lawrence the highest-paid actress in Hollywood last year, with combined earnings of $52 million.


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