Priyanka Chopra: women have to work quite a lot harder to prove themselves

Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Richard Madden are starring in a new Prime Video series about spies called Citadel. Priyanka’s been serving looks at the press events and Richard is forever my guy because he’s just so cute. They seem to play well off each other and they’re both believable in action roles. I plan to watch this for the beauty and stay for the action. Anyway, Priyanka attended SXSW Film Festival and revealed that this series was the first time in her career when she was paid equally with her male costar. She talked about how that came to be and how women have to work harder to prove themselves.

The new Prime Video spy series Citadel offered plenty of firsts for co-stars Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Richard Madden.

And as the accomplished Bollywood and Quantico actress revealed at the SXSW Film Festival in March, it also marked the first time in her career where she was paid equally with her male co-star.

The India-born Miss World 2000 winner reflected on her decision to open up about Hollywood’s gender pay gap during our interview, crediting her agents at UTA and Amazon Studios’ chief Jennifer Salke for finding equity.

“I don’t think it’s [just] in this industry,” she says. “We happen to be entertainers, so the media’s interested in writing [about] what we have to talk about. But if you talk about business or in any industry, women have to work quite a lot harder to prove their [worth], especially in boardrooms or in positions of power. They have to work way harder to be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with a guy. I didn’t even think about it, honestly. I was very excited about being part of this show, and I’m not one that thinks about that very much. But I have to give my agents props. They suggested it… ‘You’re playing co-leads, you should have parity.’ And I was like, ‘You can [have that conversation], but it doesn’t happen like that. You know, jaded old me, 20 years of trying this conversation.

“But it was so easy. They came back and they were like, ‘Yeah, it’s done.’ And I couldn’t help but wonder, ‘Did this happen so easily because the head of the studio was a female?’ Because when women are in positions where they make decisions, they think about creating opportunity for other women. And that is why it’s so important to create opportunity and push women to be in positions of power because it changes the game for another one.”

[From Yahoo! Entertainment]

This story is not shocking, because Hollywood, but still somehow shocking because Priyanka has been in the business for a long time. Like she says, 20 years! If this series was the first time, it makes me wonder about Quantico. She was the lead, so in theory she’d have the highest paycheck, but maybe they found an excuse to give more money to Josh Hopkins or Blair Underwood. I wonder who she was referring to when she talked about men feeling insecure about her success. I’m glad her people advocated for her — as they should since it’s literally their job — because it sounds like she’d long since given up on trying to prove herself for parity. It’s sh-tty that she even still has to do so with her resume. And I think the fact that the studio head is a woman definitely helped Priyanka here. Women recognizing other successful women and creating opportunities for one another to be successful, love to see it.

Photos credit: Roger Wong/INSTARimages and via Instagram

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12 Responses to “Priyanka Chopra: women have to work quite a lot harder to prove themselves”

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  1. Southern Fried says:

    She is gorgeous! Citadel sounds fun and Stanley Tucci too? I’m ready.

  2. CROWHOOD says:

    I work in strategic partnerships in a niche industry and we’ve had a down year. I’m the only woman, and notably younger, than any of my colleagues and I report up to a man, and then our president is a man.

    They are constantly on me, questioning my approach etc. and I, being beat into the gang that is American Patriarchy, really thought that I had something to prove.

    Yesterday I decided to take a closer look at our total business. I’ve signed half of it. There are 6 of us. I really resonated with the part she mentions about us just being conditioned to accept less- be it pay or treatment or consideration when actually we are killing it.

    • ML says:

      Good luck with your work situation, Crowhood!

    • kirk says:

      Good on you for tracking the actual project count and your contribution to the whole !!! If you’re still thinking you need to prove yourself, you could compare your projects revenue and profitability to total projects. Good luck on presenting your results!

      • CROWHOOD says:

        I love The celebitches – thank you for your support!!

        And may us all have the confidence of an average white man!

  3. Brassy Rebel says:

    Did she just discover this?

    • Red says:

      What? She specifically said it’s the first time she was being paid equally so of course she’s going to talk about it.

    • Celebitchy says:

      I can always tell when people don’t read the article and decide to comment based on the title. Don’t do this. Comment after you read the article.

  4. SH says:

    I think Quantico is a separate situation because while there were male actors there was no male lead of comparable standing to Priyanka’s role unless she was somehow paid far less than was reported at the time. Nuance can get lost when we immediately try and pick apart and invalidate people’s statements, but in Citadel she was going to have an equal role to Richard Madden and they were relying on her for international marketing with the plan for an Indian Hindi language show as well. So the reality that she was initially going to be paid less than Richard should stand out.

  5. ML says:

    It’s sad that at 40 she’s realized that accepting status quo meant being of lesser value to her male costars, and she decided to ask for what she’s worth now. This is so frustrating that women’s work is undervalued all the time! I’m glad that she is being paid as much as RM this time, and hopefully this will help her going forward.
    The black and white outfit: cool print, but it’s a matronly style. The orange suit rocks. The red ensemble with the black coat looks good in motion, but I don’t like the dust ruffle when she’s standing still.

  6. H says:

    Even harder when they’re not working the casting couch…Priyanka.

  7. detritus says:

    I wonder if the different spheres of work are what make her and Jonas strong.

    She seems driven, and if men have been insecure about her success, or wanted her to lessen herself so they seem bigger, I doubt she’d stand for it. I’m here for more of her work.

    It takes from you to be fighting constant battles, and I’m sure being both a woman and from non-white descent has made it more difficult than many can imagine.