The Hollywood gender wage gap has been a hot topic this year, thanks in part to the Sony e-mail hack, when it was revealed that Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams received a smaller percentage of back-end profits than their male co-stars on “American Hustle.” And during the Oscars, when Patricia Arquette turned her acceptance speech into a call for wage equality for all classes, it certainly struck a chord in the room.
Now the facts resonate once again, as Forbes rolls out its annual list of “The World’s Highest-Paid Actresses.” Lawrence (star of the blockbuster “Hunger Games” movies) unsurprisingly topped the list with $52 million over the past year. Meanwhile, at the top of the “World’s Highest Paid Actors”? Robert Downey Jr., with a whopping $80 million sum, thanks in large part to his “Iron Man” franchise.
Forbes puts the figures in perspective, noting that these top stars are still extremely well-paid — and pointed out that even though certain A-list actresses may get paid similarly as actors for big movies, there are simply not as many Hollywood roles for women, so averages are automatically skewed.
Still, the gap is still extremely wide. “The World’s 18 Highest-Paid Actresses earned a combined $281 million before taxes and fees – $660 million less than the 34 World’s Highest-Paid Actors, who banked a cumulative $941 million,” the Forbes article stated. “Only four women made north of $20 million, while 21 men banked more than $20 million.”
The second-highest earner on the actor list was Jackie Chan, who made around Lawrence-level money with $50 million. However, claiming the No. 2 actress spot was Scarlett Johansson, who brought in $35.5 million last year. That puts her just beneath the men’s No. 6 (Tom Cruise with $40 million) and No. 7 (Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan) with $33.5 million.
For this current list, Melissa McCarthy lands at No. 3 with $23 million; Chinese actress Bingbing Fan is No. 4 with $21 million; and Jennifer Aniston rounds out the top five with $16.5 million in earnings.