All publicity is good publicity for the gender pay gap
In the wake of an influx of sexual assault allegations, where prominent news anchors and actors are being taken down left and right, recent events in Hollywood have called just as much media attention to the ongoing issue of the gender wage gap.
In case you haven’t heard of the newest inexplicable incident involving the gap, allow me to briefly explain.
Just days ago, USA Today came out with the report that actor Mark Wahlberg made 1,500 times more than what actress Michelle Williams made in the reshoot of the new film “All the Money in the World.” And yes, you read that right. She made a mere one percent of what he made during their days of re-shooting.
The reshoot was due to the director deciding to replace every scene that Kevin Spacey had been in due to his recent scandals regarding sexual assault allegations. Interesting how these issues have come full circle.
Wahlberg received an additional $1.5 million to re-shoot, while Williams received around $1,000 per diem. She is also nominated for several awards for the film in the upcoming awards season, while he is not. But there are even more factors that go into this story that are simply horrifying for a woman to hear. And they should be just as horrifying for a man to hear.
Williams agreed to forgo her salary and sacrifice extra time to shoot last minute, just so they could finish the film to get into theaters. The question arises: did producers take advantage of her making this offer? Or did her team not negotiate aggressively?
Whoever takes the blame for this travesty, any publicity is good for the issue of the gender pay gap. We must keep encouraging women to be courageous and stand up in any environment where they are not being treated equally to men, especially in the professional world.
Another recent incident concerning the gap happened in December when former E! News anchor Catt Sadler announced she was leaving after 12 years. In case you missed that one, she came to find out Jason Kennedy, her male co-host, was making nearly double what she was.
Celebrities did what they do best, and they successfully shined a spotlight on an issue. They took their enraged feelings to Twitter and Instagram and even made comments on the red carpet during the Golden Globes, saying that they stand with Catt Sadler.
While these are the stories that are making headlines across the globe, it is imperative to remember that this issue is happening all over the country, all around us. Even if a woman standing up in her workplace for this issue may not make CNN headlines the next day, it may spark a small chain reaction. The reality is that this is happening all the time to women that we just don’t hear about. We must draw as much publicity to it as we can.
I can imagine it was anything but easy for Catt Sadler of E! to quit one of the best gigs in entertainment television. But because she did, it is causing more and more famous, and hopefully non-famous, people to speak out and support the issue.
While these recent highly publicized matters are astonishing to hear, they also give women hope. Any publicity is good publicity, and we are in a step in the right direction that women are gaining momentum to stand on national platforms and speak their mind.
It’s 2018, and the media is stronger than ever. All women should be encouraged to share their stories and hopefully motivate others to do the same.
Annie Milbourn is a junior majoring in journalism. Her column runs biweekly.