Now that the #TimesUp Movement is in full swing, the injustices that women face in the acting world are finally beginning to be put right. One of these is the common trend for leading actresses to be paid less than their male co-stars. A recent, and quite controversial example of this was the news that Claire Foy didn’t earn as much from Netflix’s The Crown as Matt Smith did, even though she’s 100% the star of the show.
One Hollywood heavyweight who’s doing everything he can to even out this divide is Sherlock and Marvel actor Benedict Cumberbatch. While talking to Radio Times, Doctor Strange himself revealed that he won’t accept a role unless his female co-lead gets the same pay as him. He encouraged other male actors to do the same, and actively work to decrease the pay gap between men and women in the industry.
“Equal pay and a place at the table are the central tenets of feminism. Look at your quotas. Ask what women are being paid, and say: ‘If she’s not paid the same as the men, I’m not doing it.’
That’s a pretty noble stance from Cumberbatch, and a good use of the massive sway his star power must grant him to stand up for his fellow colleagues. He went on to reveal that he’s also working to promote more female-focused stories through his production company, Sunnymarch. Cumberbatch explained that, apart from his business partner and himself, the company is mostly made up of female employees.
Apparently, his next project is about “motherhood” against the backdrop of an “environmental disaster.”
“I’m proud that [partner] Adam [Ackland] and I are the only men in our production company; our next project is a female story with a female lens about motherhood, in a time of environmental disaster. If it’s centered around my name, to get investors, then we can use that attention for a raft of female projects. Half the audience is female!”