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Jennifer Lawrence on sexism in Hollywood: 'Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?'

Actress Jennifer Lawrence penned an essay in Lenny

Actress Jennifer Lawrence penned an essay in Lenny that addresses her frustration with unequal pay for women in Hollywood. Credit: Getty Images / Jason Merritt

In an essay plaintively titled "Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?," Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence decries gender-based inequality in the film industry.

Writing in actress-producer Lena Dunham's Oct. 13 issue of online newsletter Lenny, the highly bankable "Hunger Games" star, 25, conceded, "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." But, she continued, "When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than [male actors], I didn't get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn't want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly . . . I don't need."

Lawrence -- a three-time Oscar nominee whose roles include the shape-shifting mutant Mystique in the X-Men films -- added that during negotiations, she "didn't want to seem 'difficult' or 'spoiled.' 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 went on to say that her male "American Hustle" co-stars Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper "all fought and succeeded in negotiating powerful deals for themselves . . . while I was busy worrying about coming across as a brat and not getting my fair share. Again, this might have NOTHING to do with my [being a woman], but I wasn't completely wrong when another leaked Sony email revealed a producer referring to a fellow lead actress in a negotiation as a 'spoiled brat.' For some reason, I just can't picture someone saying that about a man."

Cooper applauded her stance, telling E! News it was "interesting because if you think that you only deserve a certain amount and that's not correct, it's about changing that mindset and sticking up for yourself. . . . So that's a great thing."


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