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Jessica Chastain on Hollywood gender pay gap: There's no excuse

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Michael Stewart/WireImage

Crimson Peak star Jessica Chastain has joined the chorus of actors speaking out against the pay gap between men and women in Hollywood.

A day after Jennifer Lawrence published a pointed essay taking on inequality and sexism in the entertainment industry — and a few months after Patricia Arquette used her Oscar acceptance speech to tell women “it’s our time” for fairness — Chastain continued the conversation on the red carpet at the New York premiere of Crimson Peak.

“There’s no excuse,” Chastain told Variety on Wednesday evening. “There’s no reason why [an actress such as Lawrence] should be doing a film with other actors and get paid less than her male co-stars. It’s completely unfair. It’s not right. It’s been happening for years and years and years. I think it’s brave to talk about it. I think everyone should talk about it.”

Speaking to the Associated Press at the premiere, Chastain said she sees “forward movement” on the issue but added that “There’s a lot of misinformation out there” about how much female stars earn for films. “I think the more that people talk about … equal pay for equal work, hopefully we get to a place where we say, ‘This is ridiculous. It’s 2015, and everyone should be compensated equally.'”

Gender inequality in Hollywood has become an increasingly high-profile issue of late. In May, the ACLU asked federal and state agencies to formally investigate discriminatory hiring practices in the film and TV business, and earlier this month the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that it will do just that.