A warning to women at tonight’s Golden Globe Awards: Taking home a trophy may not mean that you’ll be paid as much as your male counterparts.
Just ask Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence, both of whom won Golden Globes last year for their performances in “American Hustle” but received a smaller portion of the film’s profits than their male co-stars.
But the hacked Sony e-mails that revealed this pay gap last month may be helping to change it.
The New York Post’s Page Six reported Wednesday that Charlize Theron had negotiated for a salary equal to that of co-star Chris Hemsworth for her role in “The Huntsman,” a Universal Pictures film set to come out in 2016.
The article quotes an anonymous Hollywood source as saying, “One knock-on effect from the Sony hacking scandal is that there will be more sensitivity about equal pay for actresses and hiring practices at movie studios.”
Theron’s representatives could not be reached to confirm the report.
Hollywood’s pay gap also came up in a New York Times interview with Jennifer Aniston shortly after the Sony e-mails were leaked.
“We’re very much a sexist society,” Aniston told the Times. “Women are still not paid as much as men.”
She added that she’d been “up against” the issue in negotiations, though she did not go into detail.
Melissa Silverstein, founder and editor of the Web site Women and Hollywood, is heartened by Theron’s reported raise but cautioned against interpreting it as a sign of broader change.
“With the people who have bigger names, it’s an opportunity to take the transparency that the hack has revealed and use it as leverage,” she said.
According to Silverstein, big-name actresses such as Theron will probably have an easier time using the hack as a negotiating tool. But an actress’s pay is “just a symptom of all the inequality in Hollywood,” Silverstein said. Women are less likely to be hired as directors and hold fewer positions of power at production companies.
Silverstein also pointed to another Sony hack revelation: Hannah Minghella, co-president of production at Sony’s Columbia Pictures division, makes close to $1 million less than a male executive with the same title.
“I haven’t read that she’s gotten a raise,” Silverstein said. “That’s a wonderful outcome for [Theron], but she is just one top-tier actress. Let’s see what can happen after that.”