• Jibriel Holloway

Time's Up on the Wage Gap Myth


The wage gap is an amazing example of persistence. The evidence it being a collection of half-truths is easily available, and no matter how often it gets debunked, there are still die-hard believers who continually dig it out of the grave. Case in point, yet another actress is calling for male actors to take pay cuts to balance out the "wage gap." Salma Hayek has spoken out with such brilliant logic as "You had a good run, but it is time now to be generous with the actresses." and "If actors ask such inflated fees, it will leave nothing for actresses."

Isn't it interesting how men are expected to be punished just for being successful? Last year, Mark Wahlberg -- one of the biggest names in Hollywood, and who has starred in many recent hit movies -- donated the $1.5 million that he earned from reshoots in All the Money in the World to the Time's Up campaign. This was done because people were outraged that Michelle Williams -- who is nowhere near Mark's net worth (his worth vs. her worth) or star power -- was paid about $1000 for the reshoots. Hollywood doesn't pay actors by the hour like traditional jobs. Those in charge take into account things like an actors' star power, their net worth, screen time, stunts, the success of their previous films, etc. In other words, people are paid based on their worth. That's why it's usually the actresses with lesser name value and those who haven't done anything major in years who complain. They basically want to get paid "equally" for less work. The logic of the pay cuts solution is like a teenager playing basketball with his little brother, and giving the kid free points just to make him feel like he did something.

Notice how these actresses don't compare themselves to men on their level, but go right for the top stars. Gwyneth Paltrow complained about Robert Downey Jr. getting paid much more than her in the Iron Man series, and used it as an example of men getting paid for "the same work." Last time I checked, Pepper Potts isn't the most popular character of a billion-dollar action film franchise. Who watches Avengers movies to see Pepper? Paltrow is not the one wearing the bulky, uncomfortable costumes. Between the Iron Man trilogy and the first two Avengers movies (her interview took place in 2015), she has nowhere near as much screen time as Robert. I bet Scarlett Johanson didn't blame the wage gap when she took home the second biggest paycheck (after RDJ) for Age of Ultron that year. Are actresses like Jennifer Aniston and Emma Stone expected to take pay cuts for their less bankable male costars? Will the Salma Hayeks of the world ever start emulating what the top male stars are doing, instead of demanding handouts from them? Will the female directors, producers, studio owners, etc. ever help these actresses achieve their goals the right way? You know, instead of whining about "all-male nominees" while sitting on a production company with 7 male directors and only one female?

Update: By Golden Globes 2020, Natalie Portman's female roster grew by a whole one new director. Now, that's progress!

These actresses who call for equal pay can learn a thing or two from women like Kristen Stewart: "Guys make more money because their movies make more money. Let's start making more movies. It makes sense." And in the same interview: "It's like, you know, instead of sitting around and complaining about that, do something. Go write something, do something." Male actors who give into these demands can learn from the words of Rob Schneider: "I, Rob Schneider, will no longer take projects that do not pay women equally. Even if that means lowering the woman's salary substantially." Underlined because a lot of people took his comment out of context. Even outside of Hollywood, too many men allow radical feminist shaming tactics to undermine their worth. There are men who fall so hard for these half-truths and guilt trips that they accept pay cuts.

Guys, you are not responsible for your coworkers' salaries. What is up to us, is shutting this trend down ASAP. ​Instead of just caving in, take a closer look at people who expect you to change to make their lives easier.

If you're working overtime other week, and your coworker works under 8 hours to care for her kids, she has no business complaining about your salary and demanding to be paid as much as you. Another factor in the "wage gap" is that men are more likely to ask for a raise.

Fellas, if you want that raise, keep on asking for and taking it. Why should you refrain from putting more food on your family's table just because some people would rather blame and guilt trip you than do simple research? Tell your boss what's really going on, and tell these females to work like the men they compare themselves to. Know your worth, gentlemen, and never let misandry or political correctness dictate it.

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