It’s been almost a year since the Sony hack in which a massive quantity of sensitive information was nabbed from the studio’s servers, but the effects are still rippling away. Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence has just written an essay called Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co‑Stars? for Lena Dunham’s newsletter Lenny, and in it, she shares that leaks from the hack were a wake-up call about Hollywood’s gender wage gap.
The information leaked included the salaries of top actors, including Lawrence and her American Hustle co-stars. Lawrence writes in her essay that the numbers showed her “how much less [she] was being paid than the lucky people with d–ks.” Even so, she wasn’t mad at Sony, she was mad at herself. Lawrence explains that she didn’t fight as hard as she should have in negotiations, admitting that she didn’t need the money, which she understands is not a very “relatable” situation.
At the same time, she believes that gender norms played a role in her negotiations. “I would be lying if I didn’t say there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced my decision to close the deal without a real fight. I didn’t want to seem ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled,'” she writes. “At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn’t worry about being ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled.'”
Lawrence goes on to say that women are socially conditioned to express opinions in ways that don’t “offend” or “scare” men. After all, statistics show that women in Hollywood — and across the country — make less than men. She shares that she has resolved to state her opinion without worry about being “adorable” or “likable,” arguing that men don’t have to worry about what angle to take to ensure their voices are heard.
Another Sony hack reference comes at the end of Lawrence’s essay, where she reminds readers of how Scott Rudin called Angelina Jolie a “spoiled brat” in one of the leaked emails. “For some reason, I just can’t picture someone saying that about a man,” writes Lawrence.
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