Cate Blanchett on wage inequality: ‘It’s boring. I mean, equal pay for equal work’


Cate Blanchett is one of us. Meaning that Cate is kind of tired of the earnest and well-meaning discussions about wage inequality, the dearth of quality roles for women in Hollywood and whether she actually needed to have romantic relationships with women to play a lesbian in Carol. Cate is finishing up her whirlwind two weeks of nonstop promotion and she’s exhausted from the same old conversations. Cate was asked about wage inequality by the Wall Street Journal and her reaction was basically, “Enough already, pay women the same as men, full stop.” Then she chatted with Yahoo UK and you could really tell that she’s done with answering these questions.

On wage inequality: “It’s boring, it’s boring, boring, boring. Let’s just get on with it, it’s not just the film industry, it’s across all industries. I mean, equal pay for equal work.”

On complicated heroines on film: “Every time there’s interesting, complex roles played by actresses on screen, someone says, ‘do you think this is a breakthrough?’ and ‘does this mean there’s going to be more of the same?’ We seem to find ourselves in the same conversation and that’s somehow remarkable. I think there’s a swath of great roles for women and certainly, there’s some wonderful female performers. It’s just time to get on with it really.”

The language around same-sex relationships: “I think even if this film had been made five or 10 years ago, it would have been perceived as being more political. The landscape and the conversation around same-sex relationships has advanced in many countries… so the universality of the love story comes to the fore, rather than the political agenda.”

The story, earlier this year, that she’s had “many” relationships with women: “If I was playing someone who had an affair, I think there would be a moment of pause before a journalist asked me how many affairs I have had. And if I was playing an axe murderer, they wouldn’t necessarily ask me how many people I’ve murdered. I probably answered in a way that was a bit facetious and they took it literally. No offence, but I’m busy and I’ve got four kids.”

[From WSJ & Yahoo UK]

The “many” relationships with women thing is from her Variety interview, where she was asked if she had relationships with women and she said, “Yes. Many times.” She later offered a clarification that she had never had sexual relations with any woman but that it didn’t matter anyway because who gives a f—k? I can see how she might have said “yes, many times” with an eyeroll and didn’t really care that much if people thought she was bisexual.

This is the only part I really took issue with: “I think there’s a swath of great roles for women…” Nope. That’s only the case if your name is Meryl Streep or Cate Blanchett or Jennifer Lawrence. Most actresses are fighting over the girlfriend role in the latest grunting-action movie.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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51 Responses to “Cate Blanchett on wage inequality: ‘It’s boring. I mean, equal pay for equal work’”

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  1. INeedANap says:

    I’m still shocked and disgusted that it’s considered controversial, in 2015, to pay women equally for equal work. That we have to have debates and think pieces is absurd.

    I say it often, but — sometimes, I forget how much we’re hated just for existing.

    • Betti says:

      I wouldn’t say they we’re hated for existing more like they are fearful of us and what they perceive themselves to loose if we get true equality. Throughout history powerful women have been torn down by insecure and fearful men: Anne Bolyn, Hatsheput, Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, Mary Magdalene – to name but a few.

    • Mara says:

      I don’t think its controversial and a large amount of men on the western world probably support equal pay. But there’s a difference between supporting something and actually doing something about it. Think about hw many people support gay marriage compared to how many went on marches or wrote letters to politicians. The sad truth is that a lot of people are lazy and a lot of people suffer for it.

      • Betti says:

        “Think about hw many people support gay marriage compared to how many went on marches or wrote letters to politicians. The sad truth is that a lot of people are lazy and a lot of people suffer for it.” True – many young people are very vocal/involved in their support for equal rights for LBGT and other ethnic groups but when it comes to women they are very meh about it – partly because they don’t think it exists, it hasn’t personally affected them in anyway and they are not educated on it. Rights for the aforementioned groups are always pushed by mainstream media, equal rights for women are just an afterthought.

  2. Ankhel says:

    What IS that? Pajamas with crotch windows?

    • Detritus says:

      Plus matching attached ribbons. Unless those are an undone overall component? If these were overalls that would make my morning.

      • Ankhel says:

        Satin bedroom overalls! *snorts* Or maybe, that fabric’s for tying back her lace thigh curtains, to let the light in? She could get geranium tattoos there.

      • sauvage says:

        “She could get geranium tattoos there.”

        Ankhel, this is pure poetry. POETRY, I say.

    • Pinky Rose says:

      They are awful. Horrible actually

  3. original kay says:

    Yet oddly, people are ok with her working with woody allen.

    • MND says:

      Yet oddly, people are okay with watching films distributed and produced by Fox.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Oh, they’re not just ok with it, she’s faaaabulous and everything she says and does and wears is perfect. Here’s a rich white woman who is so, so bored with the conversation about whether her millions for one movie are the same millions as a man’s, who made part of her fortune by working with a child molester, who thinks it’s such a bore that people think it remarkable when a good, substantial role for a woman comes along because they’re everywhere, and people faun all over her. I don’t get it. I find her shallow, smug and without empathy, but I guess that’s cool these days.

      • original kay says:

        or all this. well said.

      • GNAT:
        I <3 you.

        I've given Cate the side eye for a long time now, but she's officially crossed over into the "eyeroll" category.

        She and Meryl both need to JUST STOP TALKING.

      • Cindy says:

        I swear I’m not stalking you, but your comment nailed it once again.

      • Jules says:

        @GNAT: Bravo!. I couldn’t agree more.

        CB is on the campaign trail and is focused on that, so she has to seem like she is above and so “bored” with discussing important issues like equality for all women. Blanchett can really come off like a bitchy turd at times.

      • Birdix says:

        Oh me too. Easy to be bored with pay issues when you have a hungry team of agents negotiating on your behalf. And easy to find journalists questions too inane to give a straight answer–remember she has kids, why take the time? What was it said yesterday about losing self awareness with success?

    • Betti says:

      And oddly enough people like him and Polanski are still revered in Hollywood with studio’s/actors falling over themselves to work with them. Not quite sure which disturbs me the most: the fact that they still work or that people publicly defend them (i.e. people like Natalie Portman and her comments supporting Polanski).

    • skyblue 101 says:

      I’m totally not ok with her working with Woody Allen, the girl crush died right there, just as soon as I realised that she’s as self serving as everyone else in HW and will put her career ambitions ahead of decency.

    • stinky says:

      MND for the win!!!

    • Pinky Rose says:

      And here we go again with the same misguided complaining

  4. Naya says:

    The question regarding her sexuality isn’t exactly analogous to being asked if she has had affairs or been an axe murderer. Many LGB will point out that they are essentially locked out of playing straight roles especially if they’re out. And a lot of them consider Hollywoods propensity for casting straight actors to play LGB as a form of black face. They have a strong point and I think it’s a little dismissive of her to draw the comparisons she is drawing. If she felt her heterosexuality shouldnt be a consideration, she could have explained her reasoning and contributed to a very important conversation on LGB visibility in Hollywood.

  5. Saphana says:

    Asking someone about affairs isnt polite but not if that person is portraying a character like that. you signed up for that and generally actors talk sooooo much about how they go into character and all so why not ask them if they themselves had affairs or relationships with women?
    i mean at some point people like Cate have to ask themselves why they get so much money, partly for those intrusion but if you dont like it, dont worry you dont have to work in this job.

    if you are not fine with people asking about how you relate to the character then dont take those roles.

    • Don't kill me I'm French says:

      the situation is not different of Hardy’s journalist questions on his sexuality for The Legend promotion

      • Mary-Alice says:

        Which had * nothing* to do either with the movie or the character, just to clarify.

      • Jonathan says:

        Well, Hardy is playing twins- one bi and one gay- in Legend, so questions about sexuality were perfectly legit.

  6. Jayna says:

    The question is becoming tiring. You forget when these women promote something they do a million interviews, like the parts where they are set up in a hotel room and person after person comes in for quick interviews.

    The actresses are aware of it now because of the email leaks, or even more aware than they were, so it’s up to them how they negotiate now for their salary.

    As far as roles for women, it’s up to the women to get more movies produced like Reese Witherspoon is doing, the ones with money or connections, to get their own projects out there for more interesting roles, and it’s up to we, the women, to support female -driven movies or movies with a strong role written in it for the female lead part, not just playing a wife supporting the male lead, but a better fleshed out character. And it’s going to take more women bringing projects to the table, because men sure aren’t doing it. All the complaining in the world in an interview with every actress when asked in an interview isn’t going to change it. Action is going to change it.

    It’s a business and industry and the box office speaks. We can’t complain if we don’t go to the movies and support good movies with that in place when they are made. Sitting at home and waiting for it to come on Netflix or DVD isn’t the answer. The answer is showing up the opening weeks and helping to give it a strong box office showing. That’s the same in supporting female or minority directors.

    • Liz says:

      That’s what I chose to do after going to see a film and afterwards realising that there hadn’t been one female speaking role.
      I would only see a film at the cinema if the reviews said it had at least one decent role for an actress, my standards were not even that high they didn’t have to be a lead or the main villain, Just not another poorly written role created to add drama to male leads storyline.

    • alice says:

      Well said. It should be a collective, I wouldn’t say movement, but acknowledgment from not only women, but also men, it’s why I like Emma Watson’s campaign HeForShe. I’d wish it would happen without specifically addressing the issue as a “women” problem but it’s important new generations, men and women, could think of stories about women as just stories. Period.

      • Jonathan says:

        Yeah but we’re talking about an industrial-military-entertainment complex run and financed by heterosexual white cis men. Of course they aren’t telling stories about women or relevant to women (or anyone else) – they’re telling stories which support the narrative of the world they want to reinforce. And in that world, women are girlfriends or wives or child bearers. They’re certainly not in the starring role- that’s the role reserved for heterosexual white cis men. I think it’s indicative of why the roles for male actors keep stretching further and further into old age- those are the men clinging to power, manipulating fear and discord in society to stay relevant.

  7. Kath says:

    I can’t believe that it’s 2015, that women make up more than half of the people on this planet, and we’re still treated like some sort of novelty/minority.

    In many ways it’s worse than it was a decade or two ago, especially in terms of things like domestic violence and the sheer rage that seems to be directed at women in the comments sections of websites.

    • Don't kill me I'm French says:

      In 90’s , I remember that Julia Roberts,Demi Moore,Cameron Diaz,Bullock and others were as well-paid as Willis,Scharzie,Seagal&other.
      I remember that we had some A list black actors like Denzel Washington,Morgan Freeman,Van Peeble or Smith
      Weirdly in 2000s years,there is no NEW A list black or women actors

      • Algernon says:

        There were a lot of gains in the 80s and 90s for social equality, which old white men have spent the last twenty years or so rolling back and chipping away. Reinforcing heteronormative white male ideals in media is a big part of that, as is dismantling voting rights, attacking reproductive rights, and attempting to block gay marriage.

  8. paola says:

    Her skin is flawless. Her whole face is actually flawless.
    I can’t stand her after the Woody Allen stuff but she’s the most beautiful 40 something year old woman I’ve ever seen.

  9. Betsy says:

    She looks like she’s had a touch up done.

    • alice says:

      She does. Good work, in the sense that you can see her wrinkles around the eyes and mouth, but mostly is the fillers. Her face was so different just 3 or 4 years ago. I was just watching on youtube some Graham Norton show from 2012 and she does looks different, her facial features changed completely after the cosmetic procedures, just like Kate Winslet’s …

  10. alice says:

    She does have a point in saying that besides the talking, rightfully, it is time for pushing and get some things done. That’s why I’m disappointed when she says that the great roles for women are there. As Kaiser says, they are just a few interesting roles, and they always lands in the hands of the same 4 or 5 same old actresses, year after year. I’m done with Meryl and Cate and Julianne taking every interesting role. I’m sure that it’s not their fault, because they can’t be blamed for taking the opportunities the’ve been offered, specially knowing that the working life of an actress is dramatically shorter than an actor’s. But, BUT…Cate can’t ignore the fact that she’s one of the few, one of the chosen ones, and privilege ones. But yet, given her position of power in the industry she doesn’t seem to have empathy for the struggle of the thousands of actresses that are there fighting against the misogyny. She, at least, should have addressed that, instead of saying “oh, snap, enough talking about inequality, I’m just fine”

    • Esteph says:

      Alice, I think you have hit the nail on the head. I’m glad Cate acknowledges the inequality in Hollywood, but you are right, she is one of the privileged stars so she really shouldn’t say too much

      • alice says:

        @esteph mmm I’m actually saying the opposite: that Cate should DO something, instead of just being bothered by the issue.. Acknowledge her privileged position, and put her money her her mouth is. Because we’re done talking about it and now things have to get done. Meryl Streep, besides the fiasco of her latest attempt of talking about it, she’s financing workshops for female writers, for example. What’s Cate doing, besides pretty much saying that’s she’s bored of hearing about the lack of chances for OTHER fellow actresses? She’s one of the few that gets role after role, and she’ll be fine. Now powerful women have to help other women, because male (and female! I’m looking at you Amy!) execs certainly won’t, just look at what came out from the Sone hack.

  11. Micki says:

    That was a fantastically lazy answer on her part. I must borrow it next time when I want to brush a topic off.

    • Pinky Rose says:

      Well she is not brushing it off. She has been one of the first actresses who talked about this issue (remember her Oscar speech? Yeah that was one of the first mentions). If you watch the interview she is saying that she is tired that in freaking 2015 equal pay for equal role is still not a reality. That is what she is bored of. It’s not like Rooney Mara who at the premiere totally dismissed the issue cause she thinks she is lucky to even get paid. Which is not the issue.

      On a more personal thought, sometimes it is just frustrating that a woman with the same qualifications and in the same level cannot get paid as her male counterpart.

  12. belle de jour says:

    While I don’t really take to heart what her privileged, Woody Allen-working beehind spouts forth about a lot of things, she certainly has the right to point to the inanity, lack of originality and repetition of what passes for ‘journalism’ in some of these questions. Real journalists (even those interviewing actors on a press junket) do their research, find a new angle, and can at least frame their questions to point to interesting connections or contradictions. Better yet, they can also get more information about a specific performance, project – or the process of acting itself – from an actor. Sitting right there across from them, for at least 3-5 minutes, answering questions.

  13. Ann Taylor says:

    Of course there’s a swath of great roles for Cate since she’s WHITE! Try being a minority female in Hollywood and plz don’t tell me there’s a swath of great roles! There’s inequality of women from different races and skin color!