Meryl Streep, The Actress With The Most Oscar Nominations In History, On Being Paid Less Than Male Co-Stars

Meryl Streep On Being Paid Less Than Her Male Co-Stars


by Emma Spedding |
Published on

Meryl Streep is the most-nominated actor in Oscars history, nominated NINETEEN times. There is even a Wikipedia page dedicated to the number of awards she has won. But she has revealed in an interview with the BBC that she is also affected by the gender pay gap.

When asked if she is paid less than her male co-stars Meryl said: “Of course I do. Oh yes, oh yes, in the past. Or we have to be made equal." She added: "That [Oscar nominations] doesn’t matter - they will point to box office, even though Mama Mia has made over a billion dollars - that women films don’t sell. There is this ancient sort of wisdom that it is very difficult to move through. I will say it has to do with the distribution of films, how films are financed - in the 10 top buyers in the US for films in every territory there is not one woman."

She continued: "If the people that are choosing what goes into the multiplexes are of all one persuasion the choice will be limited and that will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. You see, these are the biggest money makers. There is not transparency - it is very difficult for you to go to your male colleagues and say ‘what are you making? It’s all of our jobs and mens jobs - men have to feel icky. If there were more transparency - if men helped us and opened the door, [it would be] the new chivalry."

Yesterday Gwyneth Paltrow opened up about the pay gap, telling Variety: “Your salary is a way to quantify what you’re worth. If men are being paid a lot more for doing the same thing, it feels shitty.” She then said of her Iron Man co-star Robert Downey JR: “Look, nobody is worth the money that Robert Downey Jr is worth.” Keira Knightley, Patricia Arquette and Amanda Seyfried have all spoken out about how they have suffered from the pay gap.

Meryl recently said that she considers herself a 'humanist' not a 'feminist.' She explained why she doesn't identify as a feminist: “I am a mother and I am the mother of a son and I am married to a man. I love men and it is not what feminism has meant historically, it is what it has come to mean to young women and alienates them from the people they love in their lives. That disturbs me. Of course, the actions of my life prove who I am, what I am, what I do. I live by these principals - deeds not words.” Earlier this year Meryl wrote to Congress imploring them to “stand up for equality—for your mother, your daughter, your sister, your wife or yourself—by actively supporting the Equal Rights Amendment.”

Meryl also said in the interview with the BBC that she thinks it's harder for men to relate to a female protagonist in films: "I’m not sure why that is. It’s easy for us to imagine ourselves as Tom Sawer or Huckleberry Finn or Peter Pan - I don’t want to be Wendy and I sure don’t want to be Tink. Reading literature as a kid, I’ve always imagined myself as the one that drove the action. It’s much much harder for a man to imagine himself as a woman. It’s a harder thing, I’m not sure why.”

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us