Trends: Actresses Demanding Equal Pay

Emmy Rossum in 'Shameless' (TV By The Numbers)

Emmy Rossum in ‘Shameless’ (TV By The Numbers)

“Shameless” actress Emmy Rossum must’ve heard of Levo League’s negotiating slogan #Ask4More, which encourages women to ask for raises and/or equal pay. Earlier this week, Rossum was negotiating to earn equal pay, if not more, than William H. Macy, her co-star on the Showtime series. (And Macy was all for that.) Her reasoning is that her character features significantly in every episode.

Yesterday, Rossum decided to settle her negotiation with a new contract. Though there’s no word on the terms of her new contract, The Hollywood Reporter mentions the following:

Sources say Rossum had an offer of equal pay on the table. It’s unclear if she received more than Macy.

(I, for one, hope she achieved equal or greater pay.)

Actresses speaking up about, and publicly negotiating for, payment parity on par with their male co-stars has become a trend as of late. Robin Wright, the lead actress in Netflix’s “House of Cards,” threatened to take her fight for fair pay public when she realized she was getting paid less than the series’  lead actor Kevin Spacey:

“I was looking at the statistics and Claire Underwood’s character was more popular than [Frank’s] for a period of time. So I capitalized on it. I was like, ‘You better pay me or I’m going to go public.’ And they did.”

Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence most notably spoke out on the issue of pay parity  in 2015 when she penned an essay for Lenny. Lawrence acknowledged that she and fellow co-star Amy Adams got shortchanged with their pay for “American Hustle:” The two women each got 7% of the overall profits, which the leading men received 9% each. This information became public knowledge during the Sony Pictures Entertainment server hack in late 2014.

Let’s hope that more and more women start speaking up and asking demanding for equal pay. As Lawrence recalls, she “failed as a negotiator because [she] gave up too early.” Don’t give up!!

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All of the Oscar Acting Nominees Are White. WTF?

 

Oscars 2016 Best Actress Nominees (Reuters)

Oscars 2016 Best Actress nominees (Reuters)

Last week, the Oscar nominations were announced. Selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the winners will be revealed Feb. 28. But this year continued a disturbing trend that began last year: Not one of the nominees in any of the acting categories (Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor) were people of color (POC).

I use the word “disturbing” as it seems the Academy is determined to ignore stories and narratives that don’t fit within their very narrow worldview. It’s becoming increasingly clear that non-white stories are not only valuable (as we knew already), but make bank, both in terms of box office and in social influence. (See this past year’s examples of TV smash “Empire,” and movies “Straight Outta Compton” and “Dope.”) The Academy needs to wake up and see that rewarding diverse stories can only help their bottom line.

In terms of the numbers, here are some of the most recent POC nominees (counted if they didn’t win) and winners:

Best Actress:

Winner: Halle Berry (“Monster’s Ball,” 2001)

Nominee: Quvenzhane Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild,” 2012)

Best Actor:

Winner: Forest Whitaker (“The Last King of Scotland,” 2006)

Nominee: Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave,” 2013)

Best Supporting Actress:

Winner: Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave,” 2013)

Nominee: Taraji P. Henson (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” 2008)

Best Supporting Actor:

Winner: Djimon Hounsou (“Blood Diamond,” 2006)

Nominee: Barkhad Abdi (“Captain Phillips,” 2013)

 

Jennifer Lawrence Nude Photo Hack: Is Our Cloud Data Safe?

Jennifer Lawrence Oscars 2013

JLaw is not amused.

Earlier this week, Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence’s private photos were hacked off her iCloud. She wasn’t the only one: Rihanna and Kate Upton were hit as well.

This high-security breach naturally leads us lesser mortals to worry about our own data within the Cloud.

But should we?

Apple feels it wasn’t a security breach, but a specific targeted act. This seems to check out, as we’re only hearing of celebrities being hacked and not Jane from down the street. (Of course, if Jane did get hacked, I’m sure Apple wouldn’t want to risk losing their customer base by publicizing that.)

The iCloud has been up and running for nearly three years, and this is the first security breach we’ve seen so far. So the storage service’s track record has been good up until this point. But it is a large, high-visibility blip on the radar, brought into the spotlight by America’s Sweetheart.

Apple’s track record suggests that this is an embarrassing security anomaly, and hopefully a longer-term trend will bear that out.