Actress Natalie Portman spoke up about the unfair pay she received compared to her male co-stars in past films. She specifically highlighted her experience working on the movie No Strings Attached with Ashton Kutcher, where she was shocked to discover the significant pay gap between them. Portman criticized Hollywood for perpetuating such inequalities.
In a 2017 interview with Marie Claire, Portman discussed the issue of gender-based pay discrepancies in the entertainment industry. Earlier that year, a hacking incident at Sony leaked documents revealing the salaries of various Hollywood actors and actresses, including Portman. This prompted her to shed light on the importance of equal pay based on gender.
Portman recalled that Kutcher earned three times more than she did for their roles in No Strings Attached. She explained that this was due to the industry’s practice of negotiating salaries based on previous earnings, known as “quotes.” Despite feeling discontented about the situation, Portman admitted that she went along with it at the time.
The actress expressed her frustration with the pay disparity and admitted that she should have been angrier about the situation. While she acknowledged that she was still paid a significant amount, Portman found it difficult to voice her concerns and stressed the outrageous nature of the gender pay gap in Hollywood.
Portman also provided statistics to highlight the wider issue of gender pay inequality. She mentioned that, on average, women earn 80 cents for every dollar men earn in most professions. However, in Hollywood, women earn a mere 30 cents for every dollar. Portman emphasized that this discrepancy is not about capability but rather the lack of equal opportunities for women in the industry.
According to Portman, the problem lies in the need for women to have equal opportunities, not in their capabilities. She urged for a shift in mindset and a collective effort to be part of the solution rather than perpetuating the problem.
Since speaking out about the issue, Portman has received exciting opportunities and worked on notable projects such as Annihilation, Song to Song, and The Death & Life of John F. Donovan, among others.