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In the days after the death of Chadwick Boseman, a story surfaced that he donated part of his salary so his co-star in 21 Bridges, Sienna Miller, could have decent pay. Recently, it came to light that Whoopi Goldberg did something similar for her costars in Sister Act, which came out in 1993. She was appalled when she discovered that the older women particularly were getting paid peanuts. So, she decided to call into work sick for several days until their pay was raised. Below are more quotes on the story from People:
“The ladies hadn’t gotten everything I thought they should have gotten — the nuns,” she explained, via Page Six. “They were older women. They were women who I felt … should be able to go and have dinner and not be worried about paying hotels or whatever it was.”
Goldberg then decided to call in sick and skip filming “for a day or two” until the women earner fairer pay.
“I got sick,” Goldberg said. “I would never go on strike. But if my coughing and sneezing coincided with our brief problem … they fixed it and it was great.”
Some of the actresses were in their 70s and 80s while working on the comedy, also starring Maggie Smith, Kathy Najimy, Wendy Makkena, Sherri Izzard, Darlene Koldenhoven, Beth Fowler, Andrea Robinson and Prudence Holmes.
I am quite ambivalent about Whoopi these days but growing up I really admired and loved her. One of my fave movies was Jumping Jack Flash. I even wanted a pair of those yellow Reebok high-tops Whoopi wore in the film. In fact, I think it was that movie that made me become an Anglophile until recently. I will say that I have enjoyed her on The View because her political ideology is quite close to mine. She has been very vocal on her personal accounts recently.
The fact that she put it on the line in such a sneaky way for her costars has definitely earned her some brownie points. She could have shrugged because it didn’t directly affect her. I truly believe it takes the every day person to bring about change in systems. It is nice to know that Whoopie can be added to my list of people who do good deeds. In the meantime, I think I may go watch Sister Act and Jumping Jack Flash as I recover from the last seventeen days of working at the polls.