Trends: Calling Out Pay Disparity

Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb of 'Today' (ET Online)

Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb of ‘Today’ (ET Online)

Earlier this week, word got out that Michelle Williams got paid a per diem for quickly reshooting scenes for “All the Money in the World” ahead of its release. That per diem amounted to $80 per diem, totaling less than $1,000. Her costar Mark Wahlberg, on the other hand, was paid a whopping $1.5M for the reshoots.

As USA Today notes, “that works out to Williams being paid less than one-tenth of 1% of her male co-star.” Isn’t that crazy?! In light of this revelation, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is investigating the matter to see if any rules were violated during the making of the film.

This isn’t the first time men and women have faced a pay disparity. Far from it. But now, calling out pay disparity has become a public way to shame companies for making their employees feel undervalued.

This has been happening several times in news. After “Today” host Matt Lauer was fired, it was reported that Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie would take over as co-hosts. Kotb and Guthrie would each be paid $7M, with their combined salaries making $14M. Later was making $25M, making the difference between his salary and those of his two co-hosts $11M.

Last month, E! Entertainment host Catt Sadler left her job of 12 years, because she was paid half as much as her male co-host Jason Kennedy. Her departure did not go unnoticed: Actresses Debra Messing, Laura Dern, and Eva Longoria confronted this year’s Golden Globes red carpet pre-show hosts Guiliana Rancic and Ryan Seacrest over the issue.

Awareness of pay disparity has also spread around the world. Former BBC News editor Carrie Gracie quit her position earlier this month once she learned that she had been severely underpaid throughout her career.

The pay disparity problem has also crossed racial lines. “Hawaii Five-O” stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park each left the series last year due to pay disparity between themselves and their white costars. Though the two had been with the show since 2010, their respective raises were still 10-15% lower than those of their white costars.

It’s excellent that pay disparities are finally coming to light! Let’s hope they spur some lasting changes toward equality.

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Iceland Becomes the First Country to Legalize Equal Pay

Equal pay demonstration in Iceland (Metrovaartha)

Equal pay demonstration in Iceland (Metrovaartha)

Though I’ve never been to Iceland, I’ve heard good things. But now I think I might want to move there. Iceland has now become the first country to legalize equal pay. The measure started taking effect on Jan. 1, 2018, and was passed by a legislative body comprised of nearly 50% women (!).

That’s right: Iceland is now the first country where it’s illegal to pay men and women differently for the same work. Companies employing 25 people and more will need to prove that they are paying men and women equal, or face fines.

Iceland has really put its money where its mouth is on the issue of equal pay. According to the Global Gender Gap Reports (read the 2017 report) that have been published yearly since 2006, Iceland had made the fastest progress and closed around 10% of its total gender wage gap.

According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2017, Iceland ranks #1 in terms of smallest gender pay gap by country. In this same list, the United States rank #49, sitting beneath Peru and just above Zimbabwe. Nicaragua, Cuba and Bangladesh all outrank the U.S.

So, ladies: who’s down to move to Iceland?

“Lady Bird” Is the Best-Reviewed Film Ever on Rotten Tomatoes

Saoirse Ronan in "Lady Bird" (Fandango)

Saoirse Ronan in “Lady Bird” (Fandango)

There’s a new queen in town.

“Lady Bird,” a film directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Saoirse Ronan in the titular role, is now the best-reviewed movie on Rotten Tomatoes. In case you’ve never been on the Internet, Rotten Tomatoes aggregates critics’ reviews and certifies movies as “rotten” or “fresh.” And “Lady Bird” is definitely the latter.

As of Dec. 4, 2017, the movie had garnered 187 consecutive “fresh” reviews. The film became the best-reviewed film on Nov. 28, 2017, when it hit 170 “fresh” reviews.

“Lady Bird” displaces “Toy Story 2” (1999) as the site’s best-reviewed movie. “Toy Story 2” received 163 consecutive positive reviews. Though other movies have more positive reviews (in terms of quantity), “Lady Bird” simply has the most positive reviews of any movie with a perfect, 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes.”

The film is currently in theaters in limited release, and there is the possibility that moving to a wider distribution would marr its perfect review record.

At this time, “Lady Bird” has made $16M+ in 11K+ theaters, making $14K+ per theater. The film has also been out just longer than one month, so it’s made roughly $561K+ per day thus far.

Beyonce Is the Highest Paid Woman in Music for 2017

Beyonce performs at the Grammy Awards, 2017 (Billboard)

Beyonce performs at the Grammy Awards, 2017 (Billboard)

No surprise here: Superstar/icon/QUEEN Beyonce was ranked the highest-paid woman in music for 2017 by “Forbes” for their annual Highest Paid Women in Music list. Beyonce earned $105M (!!!) in pre-tax income.

Here’s how “Forbes” arrived at this number:

We looked at pretax income from June 1, 2016 through June 1, 2017, and did not take out fees charged by agents, managers and lawyers. We gathered data from Nielsen SoundScan, Pollstar, the RIAA and interviews with industry insiders.

Beyonce has had one hell of a streak. She released her popular and critically acclaimed album “Lemonade” in April 2016. “Lemonade” handily become her sixth #1 album. Beyonce’s Formation world tour (which occurred during the timeframe) netted her “a quarter of a billion dollars.”

In personal news, she also took some time off to give birth to her twins Rumi and Sir. It’s safe to say that she would’ve earned even more without the break.

Beyonce’s earnings put her far ahead of the pack: The second-highest-paid woman in music was Adele, who earned $69M during the measured timeframe.

 

By The Numbers: The Gender Pay Gap

Equal Pay March (The Atlantic)

Equal Pay March (The Atlantic)

Everyone knows that women get paid less than men. (If you don’t know that by now, you’re welcome.) You may have heard that stat that women make 75 cents to every dollar a man makes.

This got me curious to see what the pay gap has been throughout recent history. I found long-range pay gap data from Pay Equity Information. I then made a data table to cherry-pick my desired years:

Gender Pay Gap Data, 1960-2015 (Pay Equity Information)

Gender Pay Gap Data, 1960-2015 (Pay Equity Information)

Then I created a line graph to see the difference visually:

Gender Pay Gap: 1960-2015 chart (Pay Equity Information)

Gender Pay Gap: 1960-2015 chart (Pay Equity Information)

As you can see, the pay gap was worst in 1960-1980. Only after 1980 does the ratio start to approach 70 cents to a dollar. And there’s still so far to go.

Trump Pays His Female Employees Like It’s 1980

Ivanka Trump (CNBC)

Ivanka Trump (CNBC)

The gender pay gap is alive and well in the Trump White House. Shocker! (Except not.) Instead of achieving pay parity with men, the women are losing ground in the fight.

(Incidentally, Ivanka Trump serves in an unpaid role.)

Economist Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute analyzed median wages, and found that the gender pay gap has more than tripled. In other words, the women are getting paid like it’s 1980.

What does this look like in salary terms?

The median female White House employee is drawing a salary of $72,650 in 2017, compared to the median male salary of $115,000. “The typical female staffer in Trump’s White House earns 63.2 cents per $1 earned by a typical male staffer,” Perry writes.

If you need that pay gap in visual form, you’re in luck:

White House gender pay gap graph (The Washington Post/Wonkblog)

White House gender pay gap graph (The Washington Post/Wonkblog)

Damn, that does not look good.

To put this further in perspective, the national pay gap is 17%. The Trump administration pay gap sits at 37%, more than double the national rate.

Something to note: using the median, and not averages, is the best way to determine pay parity. This is because averages include the outliers, both on the low and high ends of the scale.

Another note: The pay gap in Trump’s White House is higher than the pay gap in any White House since 2003. And

#ThrowbackThursday: “Ghostbusters,” 2016

'Ghostbusters,' 2016 (Geek)

‘Ghostbusters,’ 2016 (Geek)

2016 saw the release of the rebooted “Ghostbusters: Now With More Women!” OK, that wasn’t the actual title, but it might as well have been. The remake of the classic comedy film boasted Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones as the titular Ghostbusters. The film battled high expectations from all corners: nail-biting and hand-writing over whether (gasp!) funny women could open a movie, and unreasonable standards from people for whom the original 1984 movie stood as an unassailable classic.

Fortunately, the movie proved that people (and not just women) would turn out to see funny women in a remake. The film ranked second in its opening weekend with $46M+ and went on to rake in $229M+ worldwide.