Jennifer Lawrence Pens Powerful Essay On Gender Pay Gap 5 years ago

Jennifer Lawrence Pens Powerful Essay On Gender Pay Gap

Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence has spoken out on the gender pay gap in in a new essay entitled 'Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?' in this week’s Lenny Letter, Lena Dunham’s new weekly email newsletter. 

Lawrence acknowledges up front that her experience as a working woman isn’t “exactly relatable.”


To put that into perspective, the 25-old-year was named Hollywood’s highest paid leading actress, with her earnings over the past year reaching $52 million.

And while that figure sounds huge (because, let’s face it, it is), last year’s Sony hack revealed that it could have been a whole lot more substantial.

The leaked emails showed that Lawrence was paid considerably less than her American Hustle co-stars Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper. She also received seven per cent of the movie profits compared to the nine per cent received by her male co-stars.

In today’s essay Jennifer writes: “When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with d****, I didn’t get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early.”

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She explains that she has previously closed her deals “without a real fight” to avoid becoming known as “difficult” or a “spoiled brat.”

“Spoilt brat” was the term used to describe Angelina Jolie in the same batch of leaked Sony emails, something Jennifer also comments on in her essay: “For some reason, I just can’t picture someone saying that about a man.”


Lawrence goes on to ask: “This could be a young-person thing. It could be a personality thing. I’m sure it’s both. But this is an element of my personality that I’ve been working against for years, and based on the statistics, I don’t think I’m the only woman with this issue. Are we socially conditioned to behave this way?”

She continues: “I'm over trying to find the 'adorable' way to state my opinion and still be likable! F*** that. Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale, and Bradley Cooper all fought and succeeded in negotiating powerful deals for themselves. If anything, I’m sure they were commended for being fierce and tactical, while I was busy worrying about coming across as a brat and not getting my fair share.”

J-Law, we salute you.

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To read her complete essay, register for Lenny Letter here. (You really should; it's great.)