Salma Hayek Wants Hollywood Men to Slash Their Pay
Actress is sure she's found the perfect solution to ending wage disparity between males and females in Tinseltown
Salma Hayek wants male actors to make less money.
And she has an idea for how to achieve this.
The actress attended the Cannes Film Festival over the weekend and spoke on a “Women in Motion” panel. She declared that her male counterparts should accept less money to be in films because then women would be paid more. (That solves everything, right?)
“It is not just the producers” who have to change if the huge pay gap is to be closed, she insisted. “It is actors, too. Time’s up. You had a good run, but it is time now to be generous with the actresses.”
“If actors ask such inflated fees, it will leave nothing for actresses,” she added. “If the movie’s budget is $10 million, the [male] actor has to understand that if he is making $9.7 million, it is going to be hard for equality.”
Hayek ended by joking, “I will be hated for saying this. I hope I can get another job …”
Perhaps she believes she’s fighting for equality; surely she does. But Hayek is ignoring how the film industry works. In an endlessly cutthroat Hollywood, there’s a never-ending supply of actors and actresses and only limited work.
Those big name, A-list actors and actresses are worth copious amounts of money because in 2018, a mega-box-office hit can rake in over $1 billion. With so much cash to be made, the top actors should want to try to make as much of it as possible when they play a role — as should the top actresses.
By taking less money, men would not be guaranteeing women would make more. Consider a few other factors, for starters. Those who create the film could pocket the cash for an even higher profit margin. And if people are willing to work for a certain price, that becomes the value of their labor. So if Hayek — whose net worth is $85 million, according to TheRichest — is willing to work for less money than a male A-list star, that’s her decision.
Outside of the Left’s cries of sexism, one simple reason men may earn more than women in Hollywood is the age gap. The age at which women “peak” in acting is 30; however, the men “peak” at age 46, according to Time magazine.
There’s a 4.5-year age gap between male and female lead characters in film, The Guardian found in 2015. In theory, this would mean the men would likely be paid more for the same work because they are, on average, more experienced and further along in their careers than female counterparts. The same could be said in many industries.
Yet when women are experienced in television and film, they can do extraordinarily well. Variety reported that six of the top seven earners among “reality, news and talk show stars” were women: Ellen DeGeneres, $50 million; Judith Sheindlin (aka Judge Judy), $47 million; Katy Perry, $25 million; Kelly Ripa, $22 million; Megyn Kelly, $18 million; and Robin Roberts, $18 million. Note that Perry is the only woman on the list who is not older than 46.
It’s absolutely possible for women to earn more than men without a so-called requirement or declaration by one lone voice that men must give up some of their earnings.
Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, ESPN, and other outlets.