In 2017, sister trio HAIM fired their booking agent after they found out they were paid ten times less than another male artist repped by the very same agent. Reportedly, the pop group — composed of sisters Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim — learned of the ridiculous discrepancy on the very same festival lineup, and decided the disparity was unacceptable.
"It’s fucked up not even to be paid half the same amount," said Alana in a Grazia interview at the time. "But to be paid a tenth of that amount of money? It was insane."
Now, several months later, the sisters are reflecting on the meaning of this incident. At TheWrap’s 2018 Power Women’s Summit this week, the women once again spoke out about what it meant for them to learn about this inequality — and take the appropriate action.
“[We hear], ‘Don’t rock the boat,’ ‘Don’t ask a question,’ Don’t cause a problem,'” Alana Haim said at the Power Women’s Summit. “ I remember hearing ‘Don’t rock the boat’ for the first time and wondering, ‘Why can’t I rock the boat? I wanna rock the boat.”
Certainly, the Haim sisters are not the only ones rocking the boat. In the past year, we’ve heard several incidents of gender pay disparity, not just in music but in several industries. From The Crown actress Claire Foy being paid less than her male co-star to the startling gender gap among Uber drivers, few women — celebrity or otherwise — are spared from these double standards. And, thankfully, alongside women, some men are also fighting for change.
There is some hope on the horizon, however. The Haim sisters aren’t the only ones speaking out about inequality, pay or otherwise. Millennials and younger generations are being increasingly candid about their finances — what they’re making, what they’re spending, and more. And, coupled with heightened scrutiny of gender and racial inequality and a decrease in tolerance for sexual harassment, these cultural shifts are becoming more evident. It’s becoming more difficult to hide or get away with blatant gender bias, especially when less women will tolerate it.
“We were just in complete shock that this was still happening,” said middle sister Danielle Haim at the Summit. “We decided that we needed a change and that’s what happened.