For Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, they know women still have a long way to go in film and TV. The proof is in their paychecks.
Prior to the premiere of their new comedy Grace and Frankie, the 9 to 5 actors told Zap2it and other reporters at a Netflix press day that they weren’t all smiles when they learned their male co-stars are earning the same amount as them.
According to Tomlin and Fonda, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston—who play their gay on-screen, soon-to-be ex-husbands—are receiving the same salary even though they aren’t the stars or the heart of the show.
“[Tomlin] found out [Waterston and Sheen] are getting the same salary that we are,” says Fonda. “That doesn’t make us happy.”
Tomlin adds, “No. The show is not Sol and Robert—it’s Grace and Frankie.”
When it comes to gender equality and salaries in the entertainment industry, Tomlin and Fonda’s story fits into the unfortunate unbalanced pay scale mold. In the midst of the Sony hacks back in Decemeber 2014, it was revealed that both Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams were paid less than their male co-stars, Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper, for their roles in American Hustle.
Adding on to the stories of gender pay gap problems, thanks to the hack, Charlize Theron learned she had received less than her male counterpart, Chris Hemsworth, in Snow White and the Huntsman. Using the disparity to her advantage, the actress reportedly demanded she receive as much as Hemsworth if she was to star in Universal’s prequel to the film, The Huntsman.
While Theron was able to negotiate her salary, it’s obvious that there’s a problem with the fact that she had to battle for equal pay in the first place. For Tomlin and Fonda, both of whom have been in the industry for decades, they are aware that there is still a fight to be fought in the world of film and TV when it comes to gender equality.
“Even in little increments [things for women in film and TV have] changed,” says Tomlin. “[But] there’s still a lot to do and care about.”
At the time of posting, Netflix had no comment in response to Zap2it’s request for comment.
Screengrab via Netflix/YouTube