Feeling bad about the results of your last salary negotiation? Don’t. Not even being a superhero is a guarantee of a fair payday. Gal Gadot’s base pay for the blockbuster Wonder Woman was a relatively measly $300,000, according to CBR.com. The gender pay gap is real, even for amazons.
“To be clear, this sort of pay rate isn’t entirely unheard of in the superhero blockbuster genre,” Jon Arvedon writes at the site. “Much like Gadot, Chris Evans also earned $300,000 for his first major franchise solo outing, Captain America: The First Avenger. On the other hand, Gadot’s Justice League co-star Henry Cavill managed to wrangle a cool $14 million for Man of Steel.”
It’s worth mentioning that Cavill’s alleged $14 million payday is unconfirmed: one inside source tells Vanity Fair that the number “…certainly isn’t for one picture. That’s insane.”
The real test will be when Gadot goes back to the negotiating table for the sequels. Given the film’s success, she should be able to negotiate a superhero-sized raise.
The Hollywood Pay Gap
If she is the victim of the gender pay gap, Gadot is not alone. One of the revelations of the Sony hack some years ago was that Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams were paid considerably less than their male costars for American Hustle. That same year, the 10 highest paid actresses made less than half the pay earned by the 10 highest paid actors, per Forbes and The Washington Post.
“…there’s another factor that may be causing the gap: fewer acting roles for women than for men, which means fewer opportunities for women to earn more,” writes Elahe Izadi at WaPo. “For instance, 21 of the top 100 films in 2014 had a female lead or co-lead, according to a University of Southern California study. Just 28.1 percent of all speaking roles were women.”
Who Cares What Stars Make?
Even if you couldn’t care less about superstars’ supersized paychecks, there’s a reason to pay attention. In short, when even Wonder Woman and Jennifer Lawrence are having trouble getting paid equitably, we know we’re in real trouble.
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PayScale’s report, Inside the Gender Pay Gap, shows that women earn 76 cents for every dollar earned by men. That number represents the uncontrolled gap — meaning a comparison of the median salaries of all men and all women.
If that sounds like comparing apples to oranges, consider: the uncontrolled gap is so large in part because women are more likely to have lower-paying jobs and less likely to be in higher-paid management roles than men. For example, men are 85 percent more likely than women to be VPs or C-suite execs by mid-career.
Even if we compare only men and women in the same job roles, with the same skills and experience, women make only 98 cents for every dollar earned by men. No matter how you slice it, women earn less.
Maybe even if they’re Wonder Woman.
Tell Us What You Think
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This post has been updated with new information.