Robin Wright is taking a stand for equal pay and gender equality. Speaking at a recent event at the Rockerfeller Center, Wright told the audience that she demanded to be paid the same for starring in the latest season of the hit Netflix drama House of Cards. According to the Huffington Post, she explained,
It was the perfect paradigm. There are very few films or TV shows where the male, the patriarch, and the matriarch are equal. And they are in House of Cards … I was like: ‘I want to be paid the same as Kevin.’ I was looking at the statistics and Claire Underwood’s character was more popular than [Frank’s] for a period of time. So I capitalized on it.
Both Wright and Spacey are executive producers on the show. The issue of equal pay in Hollywood has recently come into the spotlight, as a large gender pay gap continues to exist at many film studios.
Forbes recently looked at the 10 highest-paid male and female actors. The top 10 men earned $431 million combined in 2015. The top 10 women earned $218 that same year. Last year, director Paul Feig—who is at the helm of a new Ghostbusters movie that stars an all-female lead cast—told Variety, “It’s ridiculous in 2015 that we’re still having to have these conversations. I don’t know how we got so behind-the-times in a town that fancies itself on being so liberal and forward thinking.”
Jennifer Lawrence addressed the issue in the Lenny newsletter last year, discussing frustrations about being perceived as “difficult” or “spoiled” for speaking out: “At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn’t worry about being ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled.’”
Discussing the situation in New York, Wright told the audience her tough negotiations for equal pay worked: “I was like: ‘You’d better pay me or I’m going to go public.’ And they did.”