While the recent cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment provided us with a few giggles, such as when co-chairperson Amy Pascal called Angelina Jolie a “minimally talented spoiled brat” in a leaked email, it also gave us an inside look at how many actresses today are still making less than their male counterparts despite arguably being the bigger stars in the project.
For example, Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams were paid less than their co-stars in 2013’s American Hustle, which was co-financed by Sony arm Columbia Pictures. Sifting through the hundreds of private internal memos leaked by hackers, The Daily Beast found that both actresses, who were nominated for respective acting Oscars, were compensated less than Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and even director David O. Russell.
In an email sent on December 5, 2013, Andrew Gumpert, President of Business Affairs and Administration for Columbia Pictures, wrote to Pascal and Doug Belgrad, President of SPE Motion Picture Group, about back-end compensation — or “points” — that each star would be receiving.
“Got a steve warren/gretchen rush call that it’s unfair the male actors get 9% in the pool and jennifer is only at 7pts,” the email read. “You may recall Jennifer was at 5 (amy was and is at 7) and WE anted in 2 extra points for Jennifer to get her up to 7.”
“BUT I think amy and Jennifer are tied so upping JL, ups AA,” Gumpert wrote, noting that if they would’ve had to increase Adams’ compensation as well if Lawrence’s pay was upped. He added, “The current talent deals are: O’Russell: 9%; Cooper: 9%; Bale: 9%; Renner: 9%; Lawrence: 7%; Adams: 7%.”
According to Fusion, SPE’s gender pay gap not only affects celebrities but SPE execs as well. Out of the 17 staffers who are earning over $1 million per year, only one of those employees is a woman. Leaked personnel files also suggests a gender-pay disparity between Hannah Minghella and Michael De Luca, the two co-presidents of production at Columbia Pictures who have the same job. Minghella, a woman, earns $1.5 million while De Luca, a man, is paid $2.4 million annually.
On the bright side to all of this depressing, “the patriarchy still exists” news, at least we now know Lawrence still brings her signature quirk when it comes to talking shop. In separate online exchanges released by hackers, the actress sends emails to Pascal using the handle “peanutbutt.”