Income inequality has become an increasingly discussed topic in Hollywood in recent years, as women and members of minorities stand up for the apparently still-radical idea that they should be paid as much as their white or male co-stars. That disparity (and the outrage it provokes) even extends outside TV and movies, and into the world of stand-up, with a recent Variety post highlighting stand-up comic Amy Schumer’s efforts to get equal compensation for her work from Netflix.
Schumer released a new stand-up special with the streaming service, The Leather Special, earlier this year. But shortly after she signed the deal with the company, stories began to break about the massive, $20 million paydays Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock had both pulled down for booking similar gigs. Schumer—who was reportedly being paid $11 million for her own set—went back to the company, demanding something closer to equal pay for her work. It’s not clear if she got an exactly equal paycheck, but the company did move to bring her pay and the male comics’ in line with each other.
The Netflix situation isn’t the only instance of income inequality the Variety piece quotes; it features similar anecdotes from a number of female performers, including Community’s Yvette Nicole Brown, plus highlighting recent conflicts that have broken out around the issue, including Emmy Rossum’s efforts to get pay equality on Shameless, and the disputes that caused Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim to leave Hawaii Five-0.