The gender-based wage gap that plagues Hollywood isn't a new concern by any means, but it still has the power to inspire shock, anger, and disappointment. In an interview with The Daily Beast published this morning, The X-Files star Gillian Anderson confirmed she was initially offered half the salary paid to co-star David Duchovny for her appearance in the series' new batch of episodes. (Anderson discussed the pay gap for the first time two weeks earlier in The Hollywood Reporter.) This was the second time Anderson had to fight for equal X-Files pay: during the series' initial '90s run, she had to wait three years before closing the gap between her salary and Duchovny's.
"I'm surprised that more [interviewers] haven't brought that up, because it's the truth," said Anderson. "Especially in this climate of women talking about the reality... in this business, I think it's important... It was shocking to me, given all the work that I had done in the past to get us to be paid fairly. I don't even know what to say about it... It's sad." In speaking to The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month, Anderson said, "Once we agreed, negotiations happened somewhere else. There's no point in dealing with my side [first] because, as usual, they come to me with half of what they want to offer David."
Experience and award show recognition have no effect on discrimination
Anderson and Duchovny were ultimately paid the same salary for the miniseries, but it's appalling that the show's producers had the gall to value her contribution to the show at half of Duchovny's. This is why it's so important that actresses like Anderson, Jennifer Lawrence, and Charlize Theron continue to speak out regarding their financial treatment. No amount of experience or award show recognition is going to change the movie industry's entrenched financial discrimination; action like this is necessary.