Few will be feeling sorry for award winning megastar Natalie Portman, true. But the issue of the gender pay gap is still a problem that transcends the film industry. The actress will be front and center this awards season following on from her role in the biopic Jackie about the former First Lady. But one interview with Marie Claire brought an uncomfortable topic to the surface.
Featuring alongside Ashton Kutcher in the 2011 romantic comedy No Strings Attached, Portman explained that she accepted the terms even in the knowledge that her male counterpart would be making three times the amount of cash she would for the same work. The actress is not the first and should the issue continue, won't be the last, to make public commentary on Hollywood's incomprehensible pay discrepancies.
Portman: I Should Have Been Angry
For the rom-com that enjoyed $150m in takings at the box office, it is impossible to justify how a former male model and star of Dude, Where's My Car? and host of Punk'd can be rewarded thrice the value of the 35-year old who won an Academy Award for Best Actress for Black Swan in the very same year of 2011. Talking to the publication, Portman said that she should have made a stand at the time.
“I wasn’t as pissed as I should have been," began Portman. She continued, "I mean, we get paid a lot, so it’s hard to complain, but the disparity is crazy. I knew and I went along with it. His (quoted salary) was three times higher than mine so they said he should get three times more."
Natalie Wants Hollywood To Lead The Way In Reform
Without wanting to dwell on her personal revenue to branch out to the problem at large, Portman argued that Hollywood should be the trail blazer by bridging the gap. For an industry that loves to pat itself on the back, it is hard to disagree with the notion that actions speak louder than words.
“Compared to men, in most professions, women make 80 cents to the dollar," pointed out the Jackie star. "In Hollywood, we are making 30 cents to the dollar. I don’t think women and men are more or less capable. We just have a clear issue with women not having opportunities. We need to be part of the solution, not perpetuating the problem.”
To Kutcher's credit, rather than retort or avoid the topic, he gave Portman his full support on social media.
So proud of Natalie and all women who stand up for closing the gender pay gap! https://t.co/AV1uYY6KIe
— ashton kutcher (@aplusk) January 11, 2017