19 Celebrity Women Who Were Paid Less Than The Men On Set

Sarah Kester
Jennifer Lawrence on set
Vanity Fair | Netflix

There’s no denying that gender inequality exists in Hollywood

We see it in sexism, stereotypes, and the #MeToo movement. We’ve also largely seen it through the pay gap in Hollywood where female actresses make significantly less than their male co-stars. 

Thankfully, these brave ladies are starting to fight back for their worth! From Jennifer Lawrence to Claire Foy to Natalie Portman, here are 13 celebrity women who were paid less than the men on set (and what they did about it).

1. Emmy Rossum

Fiona and Frank
Vanity Fair | Fx

People were shocked to discover that the Shameless actress was paid significantly less than her Shameless co-star, William H. Macy. She was the show's main lead, after all.

This injustice wasn't corrected until the show's eighth season when Emmy lobbied to be paid equal pay as Macy.

In a celebrated move, Emmy shared that Macy was the one who supported her pay increase the most.

Emmy Rossum
instagram | Emmy Rossum

"To have the man counterpart on my show be like, 'Yes, she does deserve this and more' was so validating. And after it became public, it was a quick resolution," Emmy said during a roundtable for the Hollywood Reporter.

2. Scarlett Johannson

Scarlett Johannson
Giphy | HULU

If you need a definitive example of the gender pay gap in Hollywood, just look to the fact that Scarlett made $198.5 million less in 2018 than the highest-paid actor, George Clooney. "I've had to fight for everything that I have. It's such a fickle and political industry," she told Marie Claire.

3. Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence
MTV | Universal

Through the infamous Sony leak, the actress found out that she was paid significantly less than her male American Hustle co-stars. Since then, she's been extremely outspoken about pay inequality in Hollywood.

"I didn't want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don't need," she wrote in an essay for Lena Dunham's "Lenny" newsletter.

Jennifer Lawrence

"At the time, 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,'" she wrote.

4. Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams on set with Mark Wahlberg
Tribute | Paramount

There was a huge gap in the income Williams earned in All the Money in the World opposite Mark Wahlberg. He earned $5 million, while she only earned $625,000. An even greater discrepancy occurred during re-shoots in the wake of the Kevin Spacey #MeToo Scandal.

While Williams was reportedly paid less than $1,000 for reshoots, Mark asked for $1.5 million.

Michelle Williams
Giphy | Vulture.com

Since the actor faced backlash for his demands and the pay discrepancy, he donated his earnings from the reshoots to the Time's Up campaign.

5. Jessica Chastain

The actress is one of the most talented women around (just watch her in Scenes From a Marriage). And yet, she reportedly made $7 million for The Martian while Matt Damon made $25 million. "There is a huge wage gap in the industry. ... It's wonderful that people are starting to talk about the wage gap and really [admit] that it's an issue," she told HuffPost.

6. Amy Adams

Amy Adams
Giphy | Golden Globes

Similar to Jennifer Lawrence, Adams was significantly underpaid compared to the men in American Hustle. In an interview with British GQ, she confessed about fear of speaking up.

"It’s like we [women] have been conditioned to not be controversial, to not cause problems. It’s about finding your voice.”

7. Arden Cho

If you're wondering why the actress left the Teen Wolf reboot, the decision came down to money. It's been reported that she was offered only half what her male co-stars were making per episode.

8. Gillian Anderson

Gillian Anderson
Giphy | The X-Files

The X-Files star has had to fight for equal pay on the show. It first took her three years to be paid as much as David Duchovny was. Then, when the show was renewed, she was initially offered half of what David was offered.

9. Amanda Seyfried

The actress wears her political beliefs on her...hem—literally. When she walked the carpet for the premiere of Twin Peaks, there was the word "Equality" sewed into the hem of her dress.


This had to do with the pay gap in Hollywood that she spoke out about in 2015.

Amanda Mingey
instagram | Mingey

“A few years ago, on one of my big-budget films, I found I was being paid 10% of what my male co-star was getting, and we were pretty even in status," she told UK's Sunday Times. Can you guess which film it was?

10. Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson
Giphy | Empire FOX

Anyone who has seen The Curious Case of Benjamin Button knows that Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett were the main stars. But Taraji P. Henson was the heart. Sadly, she wasn't paid her worth as she was only paid $150,000 of the $500,000 that she asked for.

11. Claire Foy

Claire Foy on set of The Crown
Marie Claire | Netflix

Fans were up in arms when they discovered that Claire Foy, who plays Queen Elizabeth, was paid less than her male counterpart during the show's first two seasons.

In a panel discussion in 2018, producers Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries explained why Matt Smith, who plays Prince Philip, was paid more.

“The producers acknowledged that [Smith] did make more due to his Doctor Who fame, but that they would rectify that for the future,” 'Variety' reported.

The crown

They then pledged that “going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen.”

At the time, it was estimated that she only earned $40,000 per episode.

12. Priyanka Chopra

Before the actress started working in Hollywood, she was making Bollywood movies. It was there that she made only 5 percent of what her male co-star earned. She was told, "This is the budget for the girl, and we can’t move beyond that."

13. Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman

"I knew and I went along with it because there’s this thing with 'quotes' in Hollywood...," the actress told Marie Claire about Ashton Kutcher earning three times what she made in No Strings Attached.

"His [quote] was three times higher than mine, so they said he should get three times more. I wasn’t as pissed as I should have been."

14. Jennifer Lawrence... again

Jennifer Lawrence on set of Don't Look Up
Vanity Fair | Netflix

The actress was snubbed for pay once again when she filmed the dark Netflix comedy, Don't Look Up. She only received $25 million while Leonardo DiCaprio made $30 million. It's pretty sad, considering Lawrence was the shining star in the film.

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