Olivia Colman on Hollywood’s Pay Gap: ‘If I Was ‘Oliver’ Colman, I’d Be Earning a F*** of a Lot More Than I Am’

Miu von Furstenberg 2 Min Read
2 Min Read
Los Angeles Premiere of Empire of Light
Photo by Gary Mitchell/Landmark Media

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Actress Olivia Colman recently spoke out about the significant gender pay gaps in the film and television industry, highlighting that her salary would be substantially higher if she were a male actor.

During her appearance on CNN’s The Amanpour Hour last Saturday, the acclaimed Wonka actress, at 50, voiced her frustrations regarding the longstanding issue of unequal wages between male and female actors in Hollywood.

“Don’t get me started on the pay disparity, but male actors get paid more because they used to say they draw in the audiences,” Colman said. And actually, that hasn’t been true for decades. But they still like to use that as a reason not to pay women as much as their male counterparts.”

Landscapers UK Premiere
Olivia Colman at the UK Premiere of Sky Original film Landscapers at Queen Elizabeth Hall. (Photo by Gary Mitchell/Landmark Media)

After host Christiane Amanpour asked Colman if she’s faced pay disparities even as an Oscar-winning actor, The Crown actor explained that if she were “Oliver Colman,” she would “be earning a fuck of a lot more than I am.”

“I know of one pay disparity, which is a 12,000% difference,” she added.

Adding to the conversation, Taraji P. Henson shared her own experiences with pay inequality, especially as it affects Black women in the industry, in a recent SiriusXM interview with Gayle King. Henson described the pay disparity as a “slap in the face,” expressing exhaustion over the recurring need to prove her worth despite breaking multiple barriers.

Each time she achieves something new, it feels as though her previous accomplishments are disregarded during salary negotiations, leaving her to start from scratch.

Both Colman and Henson's testimonies shed light on the persistent issue of pay disparity in Hollywood, not just on gender lines but also on racial ones, underscoring the need for systemic change.

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