Listen, we’re sure Ryan Gosling or Bradley Cooper or whoever Emma Stone was referring to in a recent Out magazine interview where she said: “In my career so far, I’ve needed my male co-stars to take a pay cut so that I may have parity with them. And that’s something they do for me because they feel it’s what’s right and fair,” makes plenty of money. But couldn’t they have insisted that Emma Stone get more money to match the insanely inflated sum they were initially offered, rather than take a cut? And then everyone could spend that extra cash on face creams made with human blood and $15,000 wine?
As Stone herself touches upon in the interview, and a talent agent speaking to Cosmopolitan explained in detail back in February: Offers extended to Hollywood actors to appear in a film or TV series are based on quotes, which are basically whatever that actor’s made in the past. The offer will also be adjusted based on the budget of the film and the size of a particular actor’s role. That second part comes into play with the Hollywood pay gap, given that a majority of films and TV series have male protagonists. So even if an actress is being offered a starring role, her pay is based on her quote, which comes from her past dozen roles as a love interest or sidekick with less screen time.
Pretty fucked, right? But then there’s also the question of deal points, a percentage of a film’s gross or other box-office bonus that is worked into an actor’s contract before shooting begins. That’s how Gal Gadot—whose base salary for Wonder Woman was relatively quite low, presumably because her quote was based on her supporting role in Batman V. Superman—could end up making as much money as Henry Cavill did for Man Of Steel.
But it’s clear that overall, women—along with people of color, as Daniel Dae-Kim and Grace Park’s recent departure from Hawaii Five-O reveals—just aren’t valued in Hollywood. And that’s why, for equity’s sake, the Andrew Garfields of the world can go without a second Ferrari this year until there are more starring roles for women, and thus higher quotes for the Emma Stones of the world. It’s fine. They can afford it.