Gillian Anderson offered 1/2 of David Duchovny’s pay for X-Files reboot: ‘it’s sad’

Earlier this month, Gillian Anderson admitted in an X-Files profile in The Hollywood Reporter that she was offered half of what David Duchovny was offered to do the reboot. Anderson said to THR that “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.” Apparently she remedied that quickly and ultimately received equal pay, as she should have in the first place. I didn’t hear that detail when the article was published as it I didn’t see the original article and don’t remember it getting picked up elsewhere. In a new interview with The Daily Beast, Anderson was asked about being offered half of Duchovny’s salary and she expanded on it in a thoughtful and matter-of-fact way. She also had a lot of other great things to say about how her character was marginalized during the first three seasons of X-Files, and how she fought to have Scully just walk alongside Mulder instead of behind him at all times.

Scully was initially required to always stand behind Mulder
The studio initially required Anderson to stand a few feet behind her male partner on camera, careful never to step side-by-side with him. And it took three years before Anderson finally closed the wage gap between her pay and Duchovny’s, having become fed up with accepting less than “equal pay for equal work.”

“I can only imagine that at the beginning, they wanted me to be the sidekick,” Anderson says of Fox’s curious no-equal-footing rule. “Or that, somehow, maybe it was enough of a change just to see a woman having this kind of intellectual repartee with a man on camera, and surely the audience couldn’t deal with actually seeing them walk side by side!”

She laughs again, this time at the absurdity of the notion of Dana Scully as anyone’s mere sidekick. “I have such a knee-jerk reaction to that stuff, a very short tolerance for that sh*t,” she says acidly. “I don’t know how long it lasted or if it changed because I eventually said, ‘F*k no! No!’ I don’t remember somebody saying, ‘OK, now you get to walk alongside him.’ But I imagine it had more to do with my intolerance and spunk than it being an allowance that was made.”

On being offered half of what Duchovny was offered for the X-Files reboot
“I’m surprised that more [interviewers] haven’t brought that up because it’s the truth,” Anderson says of the pay disparity, first disclosed in the Hollywood Reporter. “Especially in this climate of women talking about the reality of [unequal pay] in this business, I think it’s important that it gets heard and voiced. It was shocking to me, given all the work that I had done in the past to get us to be paid fairly. I worked really hard toward that and finally got somewhere with it.

“Even in interviews in the last few years, people have said to me, ‘I can’t believe that happened, how did you feel about it, that is insane.’ And my response always was, ‘That was then, this is now.’ And then it happened again! I don’t even know what to say about it.”

She stammers for a moment, at a loss for words. “It is… sad,” she finally says. “It is sad.” (Sources told the Hollywood Reporter Anderson and Duchovny ultimately took home equal pay for the event series.)

On the legitimacy of Trump’s candidacy
“I heard these comments from people about whether Trump is actually on the side of the Clintons, helping create the worst possible Republican candidate, and I love that,” she says. “I mean, if that were actually true, it is genius in order to get Hillary in office. I cannot imagine—I cannot imagine—that if it’s real, if he really is as despicable a human being as he behaves, that enough Americans would allow and desire him to be in office.”

[From The Daily Beast, headers added]

I’ve thought something similar about Trump’s candidacy but my theory was that he was trying to make whomever the Republicans ultimately chose seem like a decent candidate. When his main competition is Ted Cruz that theory falls apart.

As for her comments on wage inequality, I like how she’s saying it so bluntly, how she’s not making excuses like “I know it’s a lot of money” and how she’s making the issue known and calling out her employer. Women are afraid to talk about these things because we may get penalized in the workforce and I do think it helps when celebrities bring it up.

Oh and I’ve seen half of last night’s X-Files premiere episode so far. My DVR only taped half as it aired after the NFC Championship (plus it was on so late), so I’ll have to check out the rest on Hulu. It’s kind of dark and brooding, which is how I remember the X-Files and they spend some time reviewing what happened between Scully and Mulder in the intervening years. I won’t post any spoilers, but I have to say I love Joel McHale as a blowhard conservative talk show host. It’s also nice to revisit these characters and they’re just how I remembered them. I caught the Fox Special The X-Files Reopened and creator Chris Carter said that the first and sixth episode would focus on the mythology of the show and that the middle episodes would be standalone shows. EW reports that the third episode is particularly good. (So if you’re not feeling it yet hang in there.)

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70 Responses to “Gillian Anderson offered 1/2 of David Duchovny’s pay for X-Files reboot: ‘it’s sad’”

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  1. Eleonor says:

    I really appreciate that she talked.
    And I can’t believe someone had the gut to offer the half pay to Dana freaking Scully.

    • BeeBee says:

      Chris Carter is one person (aside from the Fox suits) that should get the serious side-eye here.

    • Pinky says:

      Right? Hers was a great interview. And she quietly got what she was owed way back when (quietly because news proliferation online was not as easily attained back then, plus no one cared except those who might hire her later).

      I see her as a bit of a pioneer not only in her portrayal of that character but in her fight for equality literally, figuratively, and economically.

      And here we are, twenty years later, and they’re STILL trying to pull that shit!


  2. Tiffany says:

    @CB. It was the NFC championship and holy crap if, Denver needs to be verrry worried.

    I remember Gillian getting put through the ringer the first go around for asking for more money. She was the award winner out of the two of them and then they relocated the show to please David. But her asking for equal money was over the line. Okay.

  3. Liz says:

    It’s seems especially poor for it to happen again because she stayed longer through the first run of the show. It’s doesn’t reflect well on Fox at all that they went there.

  4. OSTONE says:

    It’s true. I just lost an award yesterday that was mine and worked my butt off last year for as I was the analyst with the best scores throughout the year in my department, because I speak up, am competitive and I am not “sweet and content” like the rest of the women in the office. The award was also given to a male counterpart who does the same job as me -albeit not as good- and gets paid more than me for the same job. Saddest part? The supervisor women in the office were the ones awarding this dude and voting for him, and constantly vote for males because they cannot fathom supporting another woman. It’s like that everywhere. So demoralizing.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Ugh, that is frustrating as hell. I’m sorry about the award and for a company that can’t recognize true talent and skill.

    • Tiffany says:

      Same thing happened to me. I was to get training for a certification this winter. I told my boss after my review that there is nothing more to discuss because he will deny the conversation or flat out ignore my request. Lo and behold I received a email 5 minutes later stating that I will not be going to training.

      • BeeBee says:

        Sorry to hear you had to/have to endure that BS. You’re not alone, sister, if that’s any consolation. What women need, in 2016, more than ever, is to look back to our Victorian Suffragtette sisters, and MARCH FORWARD.

      • Pinky says:

        WTH?! I’d write him right TF back and tell him IN WRITING all the reasons why I deserved to go.


    • vauvert says:

      That sucks!
      You know, I have no idea where you ladies are located but if it were me (I was in a similar position), I would first talk to an attorney (labour law, with a focus on discriminatory practices) and once I got legal advice I would talk to HR. Not the manager, or supervisor or crap like that. I would straight up ask for a meeting with the VP (that person will immediately call in their corporate legal person for support). Most women never do this out of fear and a climate of poor employment contributes to the fear. But if we don’t speak up nothing changes.
      I went through similar crap and you have no idea how quickly they change their stance once a lawyer gets involved. They know this is wrong, and particularly in jobs where it is easy to quantify results – sold units, percentage of customer satisfaction, what have you – they fold like a paper napkin. At least you can get the equal pay or the training you were preparing for, or the next level up or whatever. Good luck!

    • Pinky says:

      Sorry to hear this. Part of surviving In the office is learning how to play politics. Having to schmooze with people you can’t stand at least once in a while.

      Maybe ask some of these ladies to go to lunch just to get out of the office and let them see you as a person. In time, they could very well see you as one of them and reward you with things that are RIGHTFULLY YOURS TO BEGIN WITH!

      You gotta lobby for your Oscar, my friend. Sad as that is.

      Internalized sexism? Internalized racism? Yes, they’re a thing!


      • Tiffany says:

        @Pinky. The ladies in the office are of no use. He constantly talks about me behind my back with them and has stirred the pot to the point were there are no words to be said to anyone. He enjoys it because he is the hero and they will always go to him. I had no issue telling him that I never will. I will move on and they will still be in the same position thinking he is looking out for them.

        He likes them dumb, which is why he does not like me.

  5. Sarah01 says:

    I agree it’s sad and yes trump is despicable and his supporters are even worse.

  6. Mia4s says:

    Good for her calling them out. Yeah let’s get all the twits talking about how we no longer need feminism to explain this one?!? Ugh.

    By extension it’s likely that Duchovny or his people tipped her off. Good. That is how male actors can be allies.

    • sa says:

      I don’t know. It’s been years, so things may have changed, but I remember when the series was originally on and Gillian Anderson spoke publicly about how she should be paid as much as Duchovny and he said something about how she shouldn’t be using his name in her salary negotiations. That her salary is about her and has nothing to do with him or his salary.

      It’s been so long, and maybe he’s had time to rethink that stance, but that’s always kept me from liking him.

      • Mia4s says:

        I assume you haven’t been following the revival because it’s pretty clear how much things changed over the years. They’re crazy in sync (and no I don’t think that’s due to some “secret romance”). That’s why I think it’s a likely scenario.

      • sa says:

        You’re right, I haven’t been following them. I hope you’re right about them being in sync about equal pay.

  7. Sabrine says:

    And having to walk behind him in scenes? What is this in the 21st century where women are still treated like they’re not as good as men and treated as such. And then they try and pull it a second time? I’m glad she didn’t put up with it.

  8. BeeBee says:

    I find it beyond disgusting – but, sadly, I’m not at all surprised – that she had to again endure the Hollywood “Good Ole Boys Club” at Fox yet again re pay equity re David Duchovny. Gillian is JUST as much a contributor to the success of the series as was/is David. Period. There is NO excuse in regards to approaching her re the 2016 episodes with HALF of David’s offer! No excuse. I had heard about her character being made to walk behind Mulder’s in the beginning, and for that, Chris Carter and the boys at Fox get a big raspberry from me. On one level, I understand it’s “business” re going in to negotiations and low balling it; but, to go THAT low re the offer to Gillian is a slap in the face to all that she has contributed in the past to the success of the show. In many ways, and on many levels, Scully was the character that most intrigued me, and without Gillian, the show just would not have had its “oomph” factor.

    Sadly, this pay inequity transcends Hollywood, and is everywhere. Ladies, we’ve made great strides in the past, but we still face the battle re pay and recognition. This really p*sses me off to no end.

    Watched the first episode of X Files 2015 – LOVED IT. So glad they went “old school” re production design and scripting, with a 2016 twist. And McHale was very good in his “Alex Jones” (the controversial American whistle-blower re conspiracies) role.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      I didn’t know about the ‘walk behind him’ bit, that’s disgusting and it gives me a newfound respect for her that she fought against that.

      Also I agree Joel McHale knocked it out of the park and honestly made me double-taking (Wait. Is that Joel McHale?!).

    • Pinky says:

      A major reason why the show has female fans…and some male ones…is because of her. Her character was irritating but great. The two of them had great chemistry together. That means to me they are a partnership and should be compensated as such.


      • Erinn says:

        Honestly, I loved her character. I’m just watching the X-Files for the first time and am only a few seasons in – but even when she’s being annoying it’s almost hilarious. It’s the constant “Well I don’t know Mulder – I think it’s ridiculous that you think it’s supernatural” even though every single case has proven to be – just super amusing. I find she’s a really likable actress even in roles that I don’t like.

    • lisa says:

      the show was awesome

      she looked awesome – yet her entire face moved! every time she wrinkled her forehead i thought bless her heart.

      and she’s also in war and peace right now.

      it’s a great time to be gillian anderson and a gillian anderson fan!

  9. 5thHouse says:

    This is awful, and I appreciate CB for this exposure. Enough is enough!

  10. Timbuktu says:

    WHY? Aren’t they both pretty washed-up by now? I see absolutely no reason to give him more money, except penis.

    • BeeBee says:

      Gillian is not exactly “washed up”. She’s had huge success overseas with her series “The Fall”, and her run at the Young Vic in London with “A Streetcar Named Desire” was a huge success with the critics and the public alike.

      • Scal says:

        I mean between Hannibal, the Fall, the new version of War and Peace, and Streetcar SHE’s the bigger star now. What has Duchovny done other than that one showtime show?

      • Kitten says:

        She was great in The Fall.

      • Timbuktu says:

        Yeah, I remembered the Fall after I wrote that, I haven’t seen it, but it seems to be pretty critically acclaimed.
        In any case, she is definitely not a LESSER star of the two, right? So, I can’t fathom why they’d even consider offering her less money, and we aren’t talking a few hundreds less…

    • epiphany says:

      I’m with you. I’m all for pay equality, but apart from that, I couldn’t stand watching these two mumble at each other in the 90’s; I have no intention of putting myself through that again. Why in God’s name can’t these people open their mouths when they’re speaking?!?!? It’s as if their jaws are wired shut. Is this an acting technique of which I’m unaware? Is it a side effect of investigating aliens? So, so, so annoying.

    • Lucy2 says:

      Actually her career has been doing well, better than his- if anything they could have justified paying her MORE. Plus she had even more screen time in the first new episode that he did.

      • BeeBee says:

        @epiphany: I hear ya on the mumbling…Duchovny was/is FAR worse than Anderson. My husband and I watched our DVD Blu-Rays of the past seasons, and so many times, my hubby would turn to me and exclaim “WHAT did he just say?”

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Exactly. A recurring role on Hannibal as well as a starring role on The Fall. She’s in much better shape than David which makes this all the more sad.

    • Brittney B. says:

      Actually… if anything, HE is washed up and SHE still has a red-hot career. The third season of The Fall starts soon, she’s the star of a movie currently in post-production, she finished an award-winning role in Hannibal last year, AND she was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award just last year for her starring role in A Streetcar Named Desire.

      David, meanwhile, has only had one other project since Californication ended two years ago: Aquarius, which got mixed reviews.

      ETA: whoops, didn’t refresh my page before posting this. What they said.

    • cat says:

      Gillian has a big stage career in London. That was her life’s dream to work on the London stage, and she is living it. She will be on Broadway this year. Plus she is alternates her stage work with min-series work. Much like The X-Files mini-series, mini-series shows are still popular in England. I am still bitter about Hannibal being cancelled.

    • msd says:

      She’s lived in London for years so most of her work has been in the UK. Here is her list of awards and nominations. It’s actually really impressive and includes big stuff like Emmys and BAFTAs…

  11. LookyLoo says:

    He had a stronger body of work after the show. But half is ridiculous.

  12. Wentworth Miller says:

    I’m curious to know how she found out what David was offered.

    • Mia4s says:

      As I said above; likely from him. They seem pretty tight now and he certainly has no love or loyalty for Fox (he once sued them over residuals). Again this is one way male actors can actually help.

      • BeeBee says:

        They are tight now, and Gillian stated David told her his initial offer amount. Apparently he did do to ensure they were on the “same page” – literally.

      • anne_000 says:

        If it was David who told her, that was smart. Because if she found out after signing for a lower amount, there’d have been trouble on the set and a loss of chemistry between the two of them. How would they be able to trust each other on set when she wouldn’t be able to trust him as a friend off set?

    • EOA says:

      I suspect that they are in some kind of relationship, and as such, he didn’t have any problem sharing with her what he was being offered.

      The fact that the producers thought they could get away with this is ridiculous.

  13. Zirza says:

    As if anyone watches the X-files for Fox Mulder. #teamscully

  14. Alicia says:

    “I’ve thought something similar about Trump’s candidacy but my theory was that he was trying to make whomever the Republicans ultimately chose seem like a decent candidate. When his main competition is Ted Cruz that theory falls apart.”

    And yet Hillary is tied with both of them in the polls. I guess that tells you all you need to know about what the American people think of her. Hell, she can’t even put away a Socialist fringe candidate, because even Democrats don’t like her.

  15. Pri says:

    I find it interesting that she slips into and out of an English accent so easily.

    • Spugzbunny says:

      i had to google this a while back as she is so very English. From what I understand she has English heritage on top of living in the UK for decades. It really is her natural accent,

    • cat says:

      She lived in London, from age 3/4 to age 12/13. And lost most of the accent by the time she started college.

  16. Cynthia says:

    I’m so glad that she spoke up. I don’t know what’s more appalling: the pay she was offered or the fact that she was initially supposed to walk behind Mulder and be his sidekick.

  17. frivolity says:

    About the Trump/Clinton “conspiracy” she mentions … I would be at all surprised if it were true. They are both THAT shady – and then some.

  18. I want to believe says:

    Love Gillian Anderson. She handled this so well, didn’t shy away from it, made it an issue, pushed it forward, and got it done. It takes guts. She is obviously in a greater position of strength now than she was then and generally has more clout. An interesting issue to me is that David Duchovny obviously supported her through the process (at least this time around) because she likely would not have found out how much he was making without him directly/indirectly telling her or her people. Good for them.

    And I loved the episode last night. Gave me chills. The music, the images, the characters!!!! Brought it all back. A few things could have been cleaner or flowed better but I think the episodes will generally keep getting better. It would be nice to see one of them smile at some point … !

    • eyerollwithit says:

      @I want to believe…I totally co-sign your comment. Couldn’t agree more!
      Just wanted to add that Imo, Joel M. was great last night–, thought he really shined when given dramatic material (loved him from “The Soup”…still angry at its mysterious cancelation! ).
      And on a very superficial note, I thought Gillian looked amazing last night. Maybe she’s had a bit of botox (honestly not sure), but other than that possibility, I thought she looked so pretty and natural. She might not be thought of as a conventional/typical Hollywood beauty, but I think Gillian is a wonderful example of how to physically mature with grace and class. I think she proves that after 35, you don’t have to reconstruct your entire face and fill it with a bunch of synthetic garbage to look good. ‘ I want to believe’ 😉 more women in entertainment will try and follow her example!

  19. lucy2 says:

    When the original show started, I think they envisioned DD as the star and GA as supporting. He also came in with a lot more experience than she had (almost none) so I could see the initial salaries being different. However, their characters quickly became equals, and she should have been paid equal to him WAY earlier.
    There is ZERO excuse for why she was offered less now.

  20. Jayna says:

    I just finished watching The Fall seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix. Great show.

    • Kitten says:

      Yeah it’s a good show and she’s freaking fantastic on it.
      When do we get new episodes? Most recent eps are from 2014…

  21. Veronica says:

    Honestly, the thing that disgusts me the most is the part about having to stand behind him when they filmed. AS IF SHE’S A DOG FOLLOWING HER MASTER. God help the man who ever tells me to get behind him. It is unbelievable when I listen to the stories of the kind of crap women put up with on a regular basis.

    As for the pay, obviously inexcusable at face value, worse for the fact that she’s arguably the more bankable star as of right now since she’s regularly working. Nobody watched X-Files for just Dana or just Scully. It was the relationship that drove it.

  22. pinetree13 says:

    The delay because of the game was soooooooooooooooo annoying! The game was over and it was just all the talking…who cares!

    Anyone watching the second half tonight?

  23. jinx says:

    She has way more talent than him. Back in the day when all he had was xfiles under his belt he was very popular, then he ventured off and tried to do a couple movies which failed miserably. I think in these last few years, Gillian has definitely proved herself an amazing actress by playing such a variety of characters, where David….well, at least he still has xfiles. Funny how back in the day he was all that, and now the tables have turned. I love her – they should pay her 10X what they are giving him.

  24. anne_000 says:

    The full episode is over at Fox for free.

    I thought the scene of Scully & Mulder arguing on the steps was ridiculous and amateurish.

    I didn’t understand what the 2nd DNA test result was.

    Did Mulder talking to the old man with the beard lead to the airship in the hangar being found out?

    What’s with the old man not telling Mulder anything?

    Where are the Lone Gun Men? I thought that’s who O’Malley was leading Mulder to.

    I saw the original when it first came out. Then recently I re-watched the early seasons and it seemed amateurish. This explains the terribly written and acted scene on the stairs.

    Also, this episode didn’t mention what happened after Mulder left the X-Files but the show kept running on. Same with when Scully left. It’s like those newer characters never existed.

  25. MickeyM says:

    Thank you for posting! I reposted for all my friends to see! This was on while I was a teenager – can’t believe it – I’m getting older, but I am NOT THAT OLD. Very, very interesting. Sure celebs make a lot of money, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t reflect deeper patterns in society.

  26. raincoaster says:

    Good for her. She was a punk back in the day, and it’s good to see that No Bullshit spirit in her is still alive and bending the world to her will.

    Some eedjut on Facebook tried to mansplain that Duchovny is the bigger star. I think twenty years of steady work in movies sort of outranks a couple of tv series punctuated with failed movies and stays in rehab, but that might just be me.

    I’ve loved her since she walked into the Starbucks I worked at and tried to pick up the barista. He was so star-struck he didn’t even know what was happening until she gave up and left and I explained it to him. She came back later and they got together, I heard afterwards.