NBC’s This Is Us stars Sterling K. Brown and Mandy Moore and Oscar-winner Jane Fonda are among the more than 3,000 Hollywood notables to join the call for the liberal entertainment industry to put an end to its “gender pay gap,” and calling for equal pay for equal work in a letter to industry executives.
“It’s time for the Entertainment Industry to take a hard look at its pay and compensation practices above and below the line to make sure all productions meet the legal — and moral — requirement to pay fairly without discrimination,” the letter says, according to TheWrap.
The pay gap was highlighted by a study paid for by the entertainment union IATSE which was released in January. The union-paid study purportedly found that women were paid “hundreds or even thousands of dollars per week less than counterparts in comparable male-dominated crafts, even though California’s Fair Pay Act generally requires equal pay for men and women performing substantially similar work and federal law bars gender discrimination in pay.”
The study also prognosticated that the lower pay rates cause women to fear for speaking out about their stories of sexual harassment. They claim this is true because “by reducing women’s economic security and power, the persistent gender pay gap in our industry makes it harder for women to challenge the harassing and abusive behavior that the #MeToo movement and the launch of Times Up have brought to public light.”
“In the current age of #MeToo and the launching of Times Up,” the activist letter adds, “we have seen that some production companies have moved to correct gender-based wage inequality for actors working on the same projects, but there has not been any similar effort made to address wage gaps for those working behind the scenes. … It is time for real change.”
Several unions, like American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Women in Film organization, support the letter, which was also signed by actors Charlie Day, Don Cheadle, Mandy Moore, John C. Riley, Wanda Sykes, Aisha Tyler, and thousands of others.
Several studies have shown that the entertainment industry that touts itself as a bastion of diversity often fails to cast minorities and women and LGBTQ people for TV and movies roles and production jobs.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.