Scarlett Johansson is the latest actor to discuss her thoughts on equal pay by gender in Hollywood. In an interview with Cosmopolitan, the actress talks about her aversion to personally addressing the recently high-profile issue.
“There’s something icky about me having that conversation unless it applies to a greater whole,” Johansson said. “I am very fortunate, I make a really good living, and I’m proud to be an actress who’s making as much as many of my male peers at this stage… I think every woman has [been underpaid], but unless I’m addressing it as a larger problem, for me to talk about my own personal experience with it feels a little obnoxious. It’s part of a larger conversation about feminism in general.”
The conversation about female actors being paid less than male actors sparked last year, when Jennifer Lawrence penned an open letter stating her disappointment at learning she was paid less for her role in American Hustle than her costars Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, and Jeremy Renner. A number of actors applauded the letter, and many more actresses have begun to call for a change to unequal pay, most notably Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, Gillian Anderson, and Reese Witherspoon.
The conversation has also had critics. Stacey Dash slammed the discussion around the gender wage gap as “just an excuse,” and Johansson’s Avengers costar Renner made news when he referred to the conversation as sensationalism.
For her part, Johansson’s comment might be the most moderate of the bunch. The A-list actress says that she sees the wage gap as an issue, but one that she cannot personally relate to becasue she’s “making as much as many of [her] male peers.”