Is Hollywood a Mirror?

United States
January 24, 2016 8:39am CST
Two news stories have made me wonder if Hollywood reflects what is going on in society. First we had Jada Pinkett Smith complaining that her husband was not nominated for an Academy Award. She thinks that is because of his race. We also have Gillian Anderson being offered half of what David Duchovny was going to be paid to play basically the same role. Is this because she is female? The first story blames racism for Academy Awards nominations this year being all white people. I think it was last year too, but the year before several people of color were not only nominated, but won several awards. So did the Academy voters become racists all of a sudden? Or, just maybe, there were better roles and better performances two years ago? I might be on board with Jada’s claim if she was complaining about lack of opportunity rather than lack of awards’ nominations. But after being paid millions to be in a movie, whining about not being nominated for an award is just silly. Also, I might have sympathy for her if she was not an enormously rich and powerful actress, but was looking for a job in a less pampered profession. Where was she when the little guy was told he could not have a well-paying job? I am not impressed by the complaints of the well-heeled and over-paid when they want more. I am, however, annoyed and saddened that Gillian Anderson had to fight to be paid equally for her starring role in the X-Files reboot. She works in California, where this is the law of the land. But there is a trend all over the world to turn back the clock on women’s issues. I am both horrified and frightened that women are still being marginalized in society. This is another Hollywood example, but this one isn’t about an award. It’s equal pay for equal work. We should all stand firm for that.
28 people like this
26 responses
@fishtiger58 (30320)
• Momence, Illinois
24 Jan 16
I couldn't agree more. It's 2016 and this inequality where women and pay are concerned shouldn't even be a discussion but yet it's still happening. As for Jada boohooing about an award is positively disgusting, grow up.
6 people like this
• United States
24 Jan 16
I understand that his movie did not make the amount of money that the studios thought it would. Getting a nomination would send more people to the theaters. This was greed (hers) and not racism (the awards).
5 people like this
@fishtiger58 (30320)
• Momence, Illinois
24 Jan 16
@ElizabethWallace The whole greed thing really irks me I mean how much is enough.
3 people like this
• United States
24 Jan 16
@fishtiger58 I don't know. Perhaps what they are really trying to do is fill up that hole in their chests where their hearts should be.
4 people like this
@jaboUK (54860)
• United Kingdom
24 Jan 16
I too thought that was silly about the nominations. I know you read that poem about the women of India - now that is real discrimination.
5 people like this
• United States
24 Jan 16
Women and children have it really hard all over the world. But that does not mean that it is okay to pay women half here. Wrong is wrong.
6 people like this
@jaboUK (54860)
• United Kingdom
24 Jan 16
@ElizabethWallace Oh yes, I wasn't disagreeing with you, just mentioning the extreme situation described in that poem.
5 people like this
• United States
24 Jan 16
@jaboUK I know you weren't. We are both lucky we were born where we were. Other places are very harsh for women and children. Sucks.
5 people like this
@garymarsh6 (14317)
• United Kingdom
24 Jan 16
Sour grapes comes to mind with your first example. Perhaps there were just no good black performances this year,. I do so hate it when they make it a race issue. Erm isn't the head of nominations black herself? That apart perhaps better performances this year eh? The second part about Gillian Anderson she is entitled to be paid the same as David was if she is now the star of the show! Good grief they still try it on eh!
4 people like this
• United States
24 Jan 16
I agree with you about the sour grapes comment. it is what came to mind to me too. Also, why do women still have to fight this fight? It's the law, darn it.
5 people like this
@garymarsh6 (14317)
• United Kingdom
24 Jan 16
@ElizabethWallace HA if they could have got away with it you and I both know they would have tried it on!
4 people like this
• United States
24 Jan 16
@garymarsh6 They did try, but she refused to be paid less. Since they could not do the show without her, she won.
6 people like this
@DianneN (81890)
• United States
24 Jan 16
It is a crying shame!
3 people like this
• United States
24 Jan 16
I wish lawbreakers went to jail, but that only happens to people who are poor or uneducated (not really, but it seems that way, doesn't it?).
4 people like this
@DianneN (81890)
• United States
24 Jan 16
@ElizabethWallace It seems to be the case.
4 people like this
• United States
24 Jan 16
@DianneN I wonder how we got into this predicament.
4 people like this
@Gillygirl (17361)
• Sutton, England
24 Jan 16
I agree Elizabeth, women should be paid the same if they do the same work as their male counterparts.
3 people like this
• United States
24 Jan 16
Especially if they are named Gillian.
3 people like this
• United States
25 Jan 16
@Gillygirl Yes, I do. Welcome!
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (170348)
• Switzerland
24 Jan 16
I fully agree with you on this. Nobody complained for the Oscar two years ago, this year it is ridiculous, but I agree that in our society it's time to give the same rights (and salary) to women and men.
3 people like this
• United States
25 Jan 16
I would like to hear the entertainment industry up in arms about equal pay.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (170348)
• Switzerland
25 Jan 16
@ElizabethWallace They should, if no one ever do anything, nothing is going to change.
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (42561)
• Germany
24 Jan 16
It's a shame that this is still an issue, isn't it?
3 people like this
• United States
24 Jan 16
Yes, and it is frightening. Gillian would have survived, even if not paid according to law, but others, in less lucrative professions barely make do. It's awful.
2 people like this
@RasmaSandra (19042)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
24 Jan 16
@ElizabethWallace I know things have greatly changed in Hollywood and still remember the days when great actors like Sidney Poitier were honored for their talent and you could be sure that you will have a really good paycheck.
3 people like this
@Teep11 (7120)
• United States
25 Jan 16
Discrimination still exist but I'm not sure if there was some sort of conspiracy on the Academy Awards. It can be unsettling when there's no diversity.
3 people like this
• United States
25 Jan 16
Many of the movies this year were about real people. Only a few of them were people of color. It would have been silly to have people of color playing the roles of whites or visa versa. Breaks of the game this year, that's all.
1 person likes this
@Tampa_girl7 (25825)
• United States
24 Jan 16
Well, Gillian Anderson getting less pay is definitely an intentional thing and a terrible shame. I hope the other situation is unintentional and just the way the cards fell.
3 people like this
• United States
25 Jan 16
I think you are right on both counts.
1 person likes this
@amadeo (70249)
• United States
24 Jan 16
thank you for sharing this.I also agree there.I did not hear about her just getting the half of the salary. As for Jada.I do not think that she should have made so much noise about this. But worked it our peacefully with the Oscar there.But look we cannot satisfy everyone.We are doing our best in this country trying to make everyone equal.But it is not working.What is wrong with this. i like Will Smith a lot.But did not get a chance to see the movie.He had come a long way becoming a fine actor. He is young.I am sure big and better things will happen.Also Gillian i wish her well.I saw her on a Netflix series. Cannot remember the name.Thanks again.
3 people like this
• United States
24 Jan 16
Will Smith was paid $11 million for this movie. He will be fine. Gillian refused to do the role unless paid the same as her male counterpart. Good for her, bad for the idiots who did not offer equal pay in the first place.
2 people like this
@boiboing (12882)
• Northampton, England
25 Jan 16
Personally I wouldn't pay Gillian Anderson to act since I tend to think her hair is a better actor than she is but ultimately she needs to talk to her agent about why he (and it probably is a he) didn't negotiate her a deal as good as David Duchovny's agent did.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Jan 16
She did negotiate equal pay in the end, but she had to fight for it, and Duchovny did not. Why should women have to fight to get employers to follow the law?
@boiboing (12882)
• Northampton, England
25 Jan 16
@ElizabethWallace Like I said, DD probably has a better agent than GA. I'm glad she got her fair deal but I find it quite hard to care about the salary of a woman I consider so lacking in talent - or for that matter, about most actors, sportsmen or so-called celebrities.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Jan 16
@boiboing I am with you on that. But it does illustrate the trend, women are not valued even when they create wealth for others.
1 person likes this
@Dalane (700)
• United States
25 Jan 16
There were many excellent performances in the movies this year, and most of them did not get nominated.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Jan 16
Yes, and then there was Joy. Very disjointed movie and only an average role and performance. But she is the "it" girl at the moment.
@Dalane (700)
• United States
26 Jan 16
@ElizabethWallace It just goes to show that Oscar nominations don't make much sense a lot of times and are often unfair. Will Smith should just get over it and be happy with his multi-million dollar movie contracts.
2 people like this
• United States
27 Jan 16
@Dalane Yes, but he is looking out for his own personal bottom line. If his movies do not get attention, then his next job won't pay him as much. How rich does he really have to be?
1 person likes this
@Daljinder (22073)
• India
25 Jan 16
I agree with your assessment about the nominations. It seems that the person is just whining and looking for excuses. You know putting the blame on others kind of thing rather than admitting or accepting that they simply failed to deliver an award winning performance. A hard pill to swallow for their egos/pride I think. Saving their own image is what they choose to do which is most common among the celebrities these days. The other thing that you mentioned about women not being paid equally like men. Well that is justifiably wrong. It is clearly gender inequality.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Jan 16
I think his performance was top drawer, but the movie failed at the box office. I think that was the issue.
2 people like this
@Daljinder (22073)
• India
31 Jan 16
@ElizabethWallace Again a hit on the ego..... Isn't easy to take it being at a position they are... They are in spotlight constantly. So, good performance or not, the movie failed at the box office... Obviously fingers would be pointed and to get the spotlight off that they changed the focus and created another issue for paparazzi to focus on... Protecting their image is all they care about...
@silvermist (20085)
• India
25 Jan 16
@ElizabethWallace Well said! While I do not think there was any racism involved in Hollywood nominations,Gillian Anderson being paid less is something ridiculous.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Jan 16
Lots of outrage from some in the movie industry about the awards nomination, but I heard nothing from them about Gillian. Over 50% of the industry is female, and there is no outrage? That's outrageous.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Jan 16
Just more reasons not to watch these award shows there is always someone not happy with how things are.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Jan 16
I only watch to see the clothes and hear the jokes (if any).
1 person likes this
@Juliaacv (32273)
• Canada
25 Jan 16
Equal pay for equal work is referred to as pay equity in the working world today. Many companies, maybe even large film companies, prefer to ignore it, and based on the fact that most actors and actresses sign contracts that may create a loophole for them to get out of it. What these people are offered is just a starting point, how many of them are not overpaid in that industry?
2 people like this
• United States
25 Jan 16
How much they are paid is hard to debate, since they do not work all the time. Most of them do not make enough to survive without another stream of income. I knew people who left the industry because work is not steady.
2 people like this
@DeborahDiane (22996)
• Laguna Woods, California
25 Jan 16
I was upset by what happened to Gillian Anderson, too. To make things worse, this is the second time she went through this. They also paid her less when she started on the original X-Files, and she had to fight to be paid the same. What is the matter with these people??
2 people like this
• United States
25 Jan 16
Perhaps the problem is that women do not make a huge stink, like was made with the Academy Award nominations. Let the industry try to survive without female actors.
1 person likes this
@Rollo1 (16686)
• Boston, Massachusetts
24 Jan 16
Gillian Anderson is British and is currently (or recently) starring in a series over there. They should be willing to pay her more because it means that she has to travel to do the part. But I think the cries of racism from all sides on every issue one can think of are starting to wear thin and wear on nerves. Life is sometimes unfair to all of us, and Hollywood has often overlooked great performances from actors of all races. Hollywood is a lot like Washington, politics rule.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Jan 16
I think you are correct. Will Smith's movie did not make very much money and he was not nominated. I think this is the reason and not his race. Green is the only color Hollywood sees now.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (130066)
• Bunbury, Australia
28 Jan 16
I sometimes think we're going backwards when it comes to equality.
1 person likes this
@fawkes62 (1291)
• United States
25 Jan 16
It's horrible that women are still being paid less than men for the same job. It shouldn't matter whether your male or female, if you can do the job you should be paid the same based on your talent/experience, not your gender.
1 person likes this