'In terms of pay, it’s hard for me to get interested in millionaires worried about who gets paid more'
Jodie Foster is the latest actress to comment on the wage gap in Hollywood.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly senior writer Nicole Sperling on during a SiriusXM Town Hall this week, Foster said she doesn’t get too riled up about unequal pay in the film industry. “In terms of pay, it’s hard for me to get interested in millionaires worried about who gets paid more,” Foster said, adding that often the market dictates what an actor or actress will make on a given film. “I’m just so grateful to be an actor, and I know lots of actors feel that way, that it’s hard for us to complain because we’re artists, and unfortunately we’re artists in a marketplace, and the marketplace pays what the marketplace demands, so we need to change the marketplace.”
But Foster, who directed this week’s Money Monster with George Clooney and Jodie Foster, cited financial inequality across the board as an issue the world at large needs to consider more.
“These are conversations that we need to have in our culture,” Foster said. “We need to have conversations about diversity all over the place, and inequality. Especially now, when the class inequality and financial inequality is larger than ever, and it really is the problem of our future. It’s something that we all need to look at and think about how to solve.”
This isn’t the first time Foster has commented on the treatment of women in Hollywood this year. During a Tribeca Film Festival panel last month, Foster said a lack of female filmmakers in the industry amounted to “neglect.”
“It’s a bunch of people who weren’t thinking about it, including a lot of female executives who’d risen to the top and had not really made a dent in bringing many women into the mainstream world,” she said of the dearth of women behind the camera. “We don’t want to ignore it. It’s real… the more financial risk, the less risky the studios can be, [and] people still see women as a risk.”
Conversation around the wage gap in Hollywood exploded last year, after Jennifer Lawrence wrote an essay for Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter about the issue. (It was revealed during the Sony hack in 2014 that Lawrence 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. “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.’”
After Lawrence’s essay, many other spoke out about the issue, including Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Rooney Mara, Emma Watson, and more. Just this week, Cyndi Lauper turned her hit song “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” into an anthem for equal pay among men and women with help from James Corden.
Watch Foster discuss the issue below. The full Town Hall with the actress and director debuts Friday at 2 p.m. ET on SiriusXM EW Radio (Ch. 105).