Actress Jennifer Lawrence is calling out critics of her widely shared essay on wage disparity in Hollywood.
Lawrence, who is the star of the No. 1 movie in America, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2,” is not backing down from her critique of the industry that has made her Hollywood’s highest paid actress. In the October essay “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?” published in Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter, Lawrence described learning through the hacking of Sony Pictures that she was paid significantly less than her male co-stars for the hit film “American Hustle," and her frustration with being held to a different standard in terms of how she is expected to behave compared to men.
“It’s hard for me to speak about my experience as a working woman because I can safely say my problems aren’t exactly relatable. 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 wrote at the time.
Despite widespread praise for her essay, Lawrence experienced a backlash as well.
“Some news show called my essay a ‘bratty display’ and I was like, thank you for proving my point,” Lawrence recently told Entertainment Weekly. “Would you have called a man a brat? I was very clear: My problems are not relatable. This is not about money. I don’t need money, I have plenty of money, I’m already overpaid. What I was trying to write about was how my own mentality was getting in my own way.”
She continued, adding that “It is harder for a woman to be blunt than a man. It just is. We’re not victims because we have vaginas — we need to push through that idea. I feel like I’ve stopped all that bullsh–. I say exactly what I mean. I can see that it takes people aback at first, but then they see that’s how you operate: straightforwardly. It’s about being assertive with your voice and not being ashamed.”
Lawrence’s stand reignited a conversation started by fellow actress Patricia Arquette back in February at the Academy Awards. “It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America,” Arquette said during her Best Supporting Actress acceptance speech, which drew rapturous applause from the Oscar audience.