In January, television star Ellen Pompeo got candid in The Hollywood Reporter about what it took to score her $575,000 per episode salary on the next two seasons of Grey's Anatomy. Now, in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Pompeo has implored women to start fighting for what they deserve financially, rather than expecting the powers that be to hand over what's fair.
"As women, you know, it’s not only about what’s done to us or what’s not given to us, it’s what don’t we ask for," Pompeo told the talk show host. "How much of it is isn’t given to us or is it that we don’t ask? And I think that as much as we can point the finger at other people, and say, ‘You don’t give us’ or You don’t treat us fairly,’ we also have to point the finger at ourselves and say, ‘Did we ask? Did we step up and have the gumption to ask for what a man would?' We have to own our part of it and sometimes we’re too shy. We’re too afraid to be seen as difficult… to really speak our mind."
Pompeo's statement echoes the Lenny Letter written by Jennifer Lawrence after she learned her male American Hustle co-stars had made significantly more on the project than she had. In the letter, she talked about wanting to be easy-going and pleasant, rather than fighting for more money.
"All I hear and see all day are men speaking their opinions, and I give mine in the same exact manner, and you would have thought I had said something offensive," Lawrence wrote. "I’m over trying to find the ‘adorable’ way to state my opinion and still be likable! Fuck that."
The more women who take a stand in financial negotiations, and ignore the idea that the only appropriate response is to be as agreeable as possible, the easier it will be for every person to ask for their worth — and walk away from the table with it, too. Pompeo's not the only woman in Hollywood who deserved a raise, so if you're an actress on a hit show — well, maybe now's the time to speak up in your next contract negotiation.