Kate Winslet on wage gap conversations: 'I don't like talking about money; it's a bit vulgar'
Jennifer Lawrence’s candid essay on gender pay inequality in Hollywood sparked responses from the likes of Bradley Cooper, Lena Dunham, Emma Watson, and Josh Hutcherson, but Kate Winslet doesn’t plan to join them in speaking publicly on the subject.
“I’m having such a problem with these conversations,” Winslet told BBC’s Newsbeat. “Because they keep coming up, and I understand why they are coming up, but maybe it’s a British thing. I don’t like talking about money; it’s a bit vulgar, isn’t it?”
“I don’t think that’s a very nice conversation to have publicly at all,” she added. “I’m quite surprised by these conversations to be honest, simply because it seems quite a strange thing to be discussing out in the open like that.”
Winslet told Newsbeat it would be “dangerous” for her to remark on comments made by others, but did speak about whether she’s ever dealt with sexism in the movie industry.
“Honestly, no,” she responded. “And if I’d ever been in that situation I would have either dealt with it or removed myself from it. Quite honestly, I’m sure I would. But I don’t think I’ve ever come across that. I find all this quite uncomfortable. I have to be honest. It’s a bit awkward really. We’re very lucky, and I feel so blessed. I’m perfectly capable of standing up for myself. I’m a strong individual, and that’s important to me. Yeah, absolutely. I haven’t ever felt as though I’ve really had to stick up for myself just because I’m a woman. I can’t honestly say that’s happened.”
Lawrence’s essay, published last month, reflected on last year’s Sony hack, which revealed she was paid less than her male American Hustle costars.
“I would be lying if I didn’t say there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced my decision to close the deal without a real fight,” Lawrence wrote in Dunham’s Lenny newsletter. “I didn’t want to seem ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled.’ At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn’t worry about being ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled.’”
Winslet can currently be seen in Steve Jobs. See her full comments at BBC Newsbeat.