Jennifer Lawrence on Gender Wage Gap: “I Failed as a Negotiator” on American Hustle

Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence blasted the gender wage gap, and how she handled her salary on 2013's American Hustle, in a new essay Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Got hustled. Jennifer Lawrence may be the highest-paid movie actress in Hollywood, but she still falls victim to the gender wage gap. The Oscar winner appeared to slam the salary she made in the 2013 drama American Hustle in an essay published in Lena Dunham’s feminist Lenny newsletter.

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Lawrence, 25, specifically recalled learning about her pay inequality in the David O. Russell film when Sony was hacked in December 2014. In her essay, titled “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-stars?” Lawrence compared herself to former costars Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, and Jeremy Renner. She said they made more “powerful deals” while she “gave up early” at the time. (According to Daily Beast, Lawrence and Amy Adams earned 7 percent of the profits while the men earned 9 percent.)

Jennifer Lawrence American Hustle
Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle Francois Duhamel/Columbia Pictures

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“It’s hard for me to speak about my experience as a working woman because I can safely say my problems aren’t exactly relateable. 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,” Lawrence explained. (Forbes reported in August that Lawrence made $52 million in 2015.)

She continued: “I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn’t want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don’t need. (I told you it wasn’t relatable, don’t hate me).”

American Hustle
American Hustle Columbia Pictures

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The Joy star revealed that there was one reason why she didn’t ask for more money. “I didn’t want to seem ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled,'” she said. “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.'”

With that in mind, Lawrence won’t be holding back the next time she signs on to a film. “I’m over trying to find the ‘adorable’ way to state my opinion and still be likable!” she wrote. “F— that. I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard. It’s just heard.”

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