Oscar winner Emma Stone is starring as outspoken feminist and tennis icon Billie Jean King in the upcoming film Battle of the Sexes. In 1973, King played a match against Bobby Riggs — Steve Carell in the film — that was one of the most watched televised sports events of all time. King’s quick victory over Riggs was seen as a win against sexism and misogyny.
Reenacting King’s struggle for equality made Emma think about inequality issues in her own workplace. It’s been 40 years since the infamous match, but Emma is continuing the fight for gender equality.
She recently told Out magazine, “In my career so far, I’ve needed my male co-stars to take a pay cut so that I may have parity with them … and that’s something they do for me because they feel it’s what’s right and fair.”
Emma didn’t name-check actors or movies but explained, “If my male co-star, who has a higher quote than me but believes we are equal, takes a pay cut so that I can match him, that changes my quote in the future and changes my life.” Her quotes from Out are not the first time Emma has spoken out about the gender pay gap in Hollywood.
She told Vogue in 2016, “I’ve had pay equal to my male costars in the past few films. But our industry ebbs and flows in a way that’s like, ‘How much are you bringing into the box office?’ ‘Are you the draw, or is the other person the draw?’ I felt uncomfortable talking to my agent or lawyer about it because I was like, ‘Do people want to see me as much as they want to see Steve Carell?’ It’s a weird conversation to have because it’s trying to see oneself from the outside.”
Hopefully, people go to see Battle of the Sexes for Emma Stone and Steve Carell, not just one or the other.
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