Benedict Cumberbatch has decided to lead by example declaring that he will only do films where his female co-stars are paid equally. *Women continue cheering for Benedict Cumberbatch, only louder* “Equal pay and a place at the table are the central tenets of feminism,” the actor said in an interview with Radio Times.
“Look at your quotas. Ask what women are being paid, and say: ‘If she’s not paid the same as the men, I’m not doing it,’” he explains. He seriously makes it sound so simple. We love a male ally. The truth is, it is simple. Men have been bringing up other men since the dawn of bureaucratic organisational structures. Instead of bringing up only other men, women could just as easily be brought into the mix. Trust me, they’re right there with all the same qualifications, talent, and work ethic if not more because we’re used to having to work harder for the same opportunities. In an attempt to anticipate the comments section, Cumberbatch is not saying that an actress with three lines should get the same pay as he does while in a lead role. It is all about equal pay for equal work, and just as importantly, acknowledging that women are contributing equal work. Or else we get into situations like when Catt Sadler did the same amount of work as her co-host, but was paid significantly less.
In the same interview, Cumberbatch went on to explain how he hopes to use his own platform and celebrity to provide opportunities for women to develop their careers. This is a perfect example of how to use your own clout to benefit others. “If it’s centred around my name, to get investors, then we can use that attention for a raft of female projects,” shared the actor. His production company SunnyMarch, which employs only two men including Cumberbatch, is currently working on a story about motherhood told through the female lens.
Cumberbatch went one step further, suggesting that men should not only seek out projects where their female co-stars are paid equally, but to boycott projects where they aren’t. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. This is such an important point. It’s not enough to cheer when women are treated equally. You have to express disapproval when they’re not.
Women have been saying this for generations now, but in order for equality to truly become the norm, we need men like Cumberbatch to help usher in change by stepping up and saying that they want to exist in a world where the women they work with are paid the same and offered the same opportunities.
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