Actress and X-Files star Gillian Anderson has waded into the wage gap controversy by admitting that she was initially offered just half of what her co-star David Duchovny was offered for the series reboot.
Mulder and Scully are like night and day or yin and yang; quite simply, you cannot have one without the other, so the very notion that this occurred is enough to induce feelings of anger. Anderson rightly had much to say on the subject, and she told The Daily Beast that it was “very, very sad.”
“I’m surprised that more [interviewers] haven’t brought that up because it’s the truth,” she said. “Especially in this climate of women talking about the reality of [unequal pay] in this business, I think it’s important that it gets heard and voiced. It was shocking to me, given all the work that I had done in the past to get us to be paid fairly. I worked really hard toward that and finally got somewhere with it.”
The “past” she’s referring to is her initial casting in the cult series – she was paid less than half what Duchovny was paid back then – and she said it took her three years to be paid equally. She had to endure a similar fight this time around – even after nine seasons, two movies, an Emmy, and a Golden Globe – and she said the fact that she had to continue to fight the uphill battle shocked her.
“Even in interviews in the last few years, people have said to me, ‘I can’t believe that happened, how did you feel about it, that is insane,'” the actress continued. “And my response always was, ‘That was then — this is now.’ And then it happened again!”
Worse still, it was only after the series took off that Anderson was literally allowed to stand on equal footing beside Duchovny. Her story arcs carried equal weight, but still she was required to always stand a few feet behind her partner when the series started.
“I can only imagine that at the beginning, they wanted me to be the sidekick,” Anderson said. “Or that, somehow, maybe it was enough of a change just to see a woman having this kind of intellectual repartee with a man on camera, and surely the audience couldn’t deal with actually seeing them walk side by side!”
The very notion that Dana Scully could ever be referred to as a mere “sidekick” is laughable in itself, and Anderson said there came a point where she could take it no longer.
“I don’t know how long it lasted or if it changed because I eventually said, ‘F**k no! No!’ I don’t remember somebody saying, ‘OK, now you get to walk alongside him.’ It had more to do with my intolerance and spunk than it being an allowance that was made.”
The wage divide in the industry (and indeed, outside it) has been spoken about at length, notably by fellow actress Jennifer Lawrence, but Anderson lending her voice to the cause will, at least, continue to drive home the point that unequal pay is never justified.
Via The Daily Beast