Amy Adams: ask producers about the wage gap, I don’t want to be a headline

"Nocturnal Animals" New York Premiere
During the Sony hack it came out that Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence made significantly less than their male costars on American Hustle. Hustle. Upon realizing that pay discrepancy affected actresses of their caliber, other actresses, like Charlize Theron, used this information to negotiate equitable pay. Some celebrity women have been comfortable talking about it, like Jennifer Lawrence, who penned an excellent essay about the wage gap and how that affects all women. Jessica Chastain has also discussed the wage gap. Other celebrities are not as open about it, and that’s their prerogative. Adams hard works to fly under the gossip radar. She was once rumored to have been denied a Today Show interview when she indicated she was unwilling to discuss the Sony hack. Earlier this year she did an interview in which she explained that she’s not comfortable talking about it. (Although did make it clear that director David O. Russell was not easy to work with and that he made her cry most days on set, so she’s not always mum on controversial subjects.)

Adams was part of The Hollywood Reporter’s actresses roundtable discussion along with Taraji P. Henson and Isabelle Huppert, 63, a prolific French actress.During the interview, Adams discussed pay equality in a roudabout way.

Q: In France and England, there seem to be much better roles available for women over 40. Is that true?


Q: You’ve played some great roles.

HUPPERT Yes, but before 40 and after 40 — but I never felt underemployed because I wasn’t 30. In fact, I remember when I was 30, I stopped working for a certain time in France. It happened because it happened. It was regardless of any question of age.

Q: Why did you stop working?

HUPPERT I didn’t stop working, but I had less work to do in my country and I did more films out of my country. I’m embarrassed to answer this kind of question because I find it misogynistic.

ADAMS Who you should be asking is the Producer Roundtable: “Do you think minorities are underrepresented? Do you think women are underpaid?” We are always put on the chopping block to put our opinion out there, and that question is never asked. I’m like, “Why don’t you ask them and then have their statements be the headlines in the press?” I don’t want to be a headline anymore about pay equality.

HENSON That’s why I changed what I was saying, because they expect it: “Do you think it’s hard for African-Americans?” “Oh, yes …” (Laughs.)

ADAMS I agree with you. I think the real question should be asked of the people who make those decisions.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

She’s not wrong. When producers and directors are asked why they don’t have equal representation of women or people of color in their films they often tell the truth, that they don’t think it matters. Some even suggest they find it offensive that they’re being asked about it, effectively sending a warning to journalists not to broach the subject, lest they be shut out of future interviews. So withthe issue a hotbed in the press and the people responsible for the situation refusing to loosen their grip on the subject, the burden yet again falls to the people who are affected by it. And every time they do, they, who risk angering bosses who already believe that they should be marginalized and paid less. It’s great that actresses are speaking out about the discrepancy in any way they are comfortable. But Adams is right, let’s start making those responsible the headline instead of those affected.

Amy Adams Leaves A Hair Salon In Beverly Hills

"Nocturnal Animals" New York Premiere

Amy Adams Leaves A Hair Salon In Beverly Hills

Photos creditL WENN and FameFlynet

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17 Responses to “Amy Adams: ask producers about the wage gap, I don’t want to be a headline”

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  1. SnazzyisAlive says:

    Fair enough. We just need to ask enough for them to actually identify that it is a problem, instead of their whatever attitude.

    • Kathleen says:

      But Amy has NEVER had a “whatever” attitude about it. She has said plainly and openly that she knew she was being paid less for American Hustle and “didn’t like it” but ultimately had to weight the decision of whether she wanted to be in the film or not and she decided that she wanted to do it. She’s been open about the rock between a hard place that women are often placed —especially women over 40 and women of color. She’s also been open about the fact that she feels weird talking about salary when she knows how lucky and privileged she is. She has ALWAYS identified it as an issue.

      • SnazzyisAlive says:

        No, you misunderstand. I meant the “whatever” attitude of the producers when they are asked about it.
        Sorry if I wasn’t clear

  2. CharlotteCharlotte says:

    It is such a valid point. Those being treated as unequal should not have to be the ones to explain why they are seen as unequal.

  3. Mike says:

    The producers are untouchable so they can have a snit fit about being asked. They can get away with it.

  4. K2 says:

    She is so, so right. They’re expecting the victims of this system to risk a public protest, instead of journalists challenging the people who are responsible for the discrimination, who can actually alter things.

  5. Kathleen says:

    I think her point is completely valid. Let’s be real here: those other actresses? They have benefitted from the public humiliation that ADAMS suffered during the Sony Hack. It’s a lot easier when someone else has had their private information ILLEGALLY obtained and then turned into a headline to take a stand for pay inequality. Chastain, Theron and others only got the power to talk about this stuff AFTER Amy already had to be caught up in a scandal that she didn’t consent to and had to publicly talk about abuse and her own choices that NEVER should have been publicly revealed unless she wanted them to be. Jennifer Lawrence is under 30 so I really don’t care what she has to say about the wage gap because her circumstances as a white blond 25 year old are not the same as an actress over 40 or a woman of color. Amy Adams did not consent to being violated by the Sony Hack but violated she was. And now other actresses get to be proclaimed heroes because they are benefitting from getting to talk about it? Yeah no. I’m completely on Adams side here and always have been. I think she recognizes that she’s privileged as an actress. In on way shape or form do I not think she supports pay equality but I also think she’s aware that it can be tacky for white women who make millions of dollars to complain about pay. Then throw in the fact that these women do NOT make these choices and shouldn’t be held accountable for misogyny, It’s a catch 22 and there are no easy answers here but I am firmly on her side and have been from the minute this idiotic Sony Hack took place.

    • Bex says:

      All of this, summed up far more eloquently than I ever could. It’s wonderful JLaw spoke out the way she did, but she’s a young white actress who’s also the hottest thing around. She has a degree of freedom to protest that others perhaps don’t and while it’s a good thing that this is being talked about more, by constantly pursuing this line of questioning with actresses it lets those who are really responsible off the hook.

      • Foile says:

        Although it is also interesting to hear that even one of the hottest actors around (JL) still gets paid less than her male costars who at times have less box office drawn and critical success.

      • Bex says:

        Yep, and that’s totally unacceptable. And JLaw is in a position to publicly call it out, because she’s such a critical and commercial success that she doesn’t really have to worry about being replaced at this point. Producers probably need her more than she needs them to some extent. 99% of actresses aren’t in that position, and so while I think it’s really brave of those who speak out, I don’t blame the ones who prefer not to. It’s the producers who should be answering for the system they perpetuate like Amy says here.

  6. pam says:

    I am happy that Charlize and J-Law have been so vocal about it. Well done ladies! On the other hand, I love the way Amy has handled it. Sure, she got paid less on American Hustle, but she got a meaty role and after several supporting nominations, she got her first Best Actress nod which in turn has led her to where she is today: voters now need to decide whether to nominate her for Arrival or Nocturnal Animals. Does she feel the need to make more money than male actors, or does she just want to get roles worthy of her talent?

    She is absolutely correct about Producers needing to step up and address this issue. A lot of actors don’t like to talk about money and I respect that.

  7. Luffy says:

    I understand not wanting to be a headline. But women who would rather fall in line than speak out are also part of the problem. No one likes to be the one to have to push the boundaries and force change, but someone has to. If more actress spoke out the industry would face more pressure from the public. This doesn’t make me respect amy at all.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      I don’t think she’s unwilling to speak out. Instead, she’s saying that producers aren’t subjected to the same intense questioning as actors/actresses, and that the victims of unequal pay are not the ones who can correct the situation – the producers, who pay them, are the ones who can correct it and so they should be subjected to that questioning.

      I completely understand any annoyance at both being shafted and then being asked a lot of questions about why you put up with being shafted — when the shafters are left unchallenged.

      If I understand her right, she’s saying, “Why’d they underpay me? I don’t know – go ask them!”

    • Lex says:

      It has already come up and she has already answered questions – what more can she say or do?

      The pressure needs to be put on those actually doing the paying. We are fully aware. Actresses are paid less very often. What more information do you need?

  8. Bella bella says:

    Funny, it was one of the first things I wondered after seeing “Arrival” this weekend — whether Jeremy Renner got paid more for his much smaller part than Amy Adams, who stars and is in almost every scene. She’s phenomenal in the movie and I highly recommend it. I’m not one for sci fi but this is a thinking person’s sci fi, with great effects and a beautiful and clever mind-twisty plot. You’ll definitely want to talk about it afterwards!

  9. I love that comment. Yes, ask the producers. Put them on the spot to explain why some get paid more than others. Sometimes it’s justified and sometimes it’s sexist. But let them explain their decisions.

  10. p says:

    Amy came from a poor background and has no college education. She has spoken about both these things before so at this stage, people need to start giving her break. She’s afraid to speak out in case she loses roles to younger actresses and ends up back in poverty. It’s not unheard of. She also said that she didn’t have Jennifer Lawrence’s charisma in a recent interview with The Guardian newspaper. She said that she’s a quiet, reserved person who just wants to act. It’s ok that she doesn’t want to be a figurehead for feminism. It’s ok that she wants to be apolitical. If anything, I wish more celebs had her down-to-earth, stoical attitude as opposed to complaining about the gender pay gap while still earning millions of dollars each yr! Jennifer Lawrence and Charlize Theron seem much more aggressive so they’re comfortable speaking about the gender pay gap but most women are like Amy..trying to work hard, not make waves, not seem “difficult” to work with.. I do think Amy needs to be a bit more assertive but Hollywood is a tough industry and there’s so much competition.