Natalie Portman speaks out on Hollywood gender pay gap

Actress Natalie Portman, 35, has re-ignited the Hollywood gender pay gap controversy in a new interview.
Actress Natalie Portman, 35, has re-ignited the Hollywood gender pay gap controversy in a new interview.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON• Natalie Portman, whose performance as Jackie Kennedy in a forthcoming film has many tipping her for repeat Oscar glory, has re-ignited the Hollywood gender pay gap controversy in a new interview.

Speaking to Marie Claire UK, Portman, 35, said her co-star in 2011 romcom No Strings Attached was paid considerably more than her.

"Ashton Kutcher was paid three times as much as me on No Strings Attached," she said.

"I knew and I went along with it because there's this thing with 'quotes' in Hollywood," she continued.

"His (quote) was three times higher than mine, so they said he should get three times more. I wasn't as p***ed as I should have been. I mean, we get paid a lot, so it's hard to complain, but the disparity is crazy."

"Compared to men, in most professions, women make 80 cents to the dollar. In Hollywood, we are making 30 cents to the dollar."

An actor's "quote" is how much they were paid on their previous projects and dictates how much they make on other films.

Portman's sentiments about regretting her complicity in the deal echo those of Jennifer Lawrence. Leaked e-mail messages revealing details of Lawrence's raw deal in American Hustle (2013) had in 2015 triggered fresh outrage over pay disparity.

Other stars had talked publicly about the gender pay gap. One of them is Gillian Anderson who said she was offered half of what David Duchovny made on The X-Files.

THE GUARDIAN, WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2017, with the headline 'Portman speaks out on Hollywood gender pay gap'. Print Edition | Subscribe