Is This Why Jennifer Lawrence Got Paid Less For American Hustle?

Photo: Moviestore/Rex/Rex USA.
There's no question that, on average, female actors are paid less than their male counterparts. But, whether Jennifer Lawrence was paid less for her work on American Hustle simply because she's a woman has become a subject of dispute.

Lawrence drew attention to the wage gap in an essay for Lenny Letter last week, noting that her male stars Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper were paid more than her and Amy Adams. In a column for Deadline, however, film critics Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. make the argument that, while Lawrence has a point, her lower paycheck was actually on par with her work load.

"While it’s refreshing to see Lawrence put herself out there for a worthy cause, I’m not sure that American Hustle is the movie to use as Exhibit A," Fleming noted. "Here’s why. Everybody on that particularly [sic] film worked for heavy discount to make the numbers work. By the time Lawrence was brought in by her Silver Linings Playbook director David O. Russell to round out that stellar cast, deals were done with other cast members. And then they were changed, as several others gave up back-end pieces to make things more palatable to Lawrence, who worked a lot fewer days than most everybody else.

"I’m told that Lawrence worked 19 days and was paid $1.25 million and got $250,000 in deferred compensation. She also got seven points in a back-end pool that kicked in after cash break zero. Christian Bale worked 45 days for $2.5 million upfront and nine points; Bradley Cooper worked 46 days for $2.5 million and nine points. Amy Adams got $1.25 million and seven points for working 45 days, so if anyone has a beef, it would be her."

If these numbers are accurate, Adams is indeed the one who really got screwed, getting paid less for the same amount of work as Bale and Cooper. Jeremy Renner, who reportedly also made nine points but had a significantly smaller role is the one who came out ahead. Whether Lawrence's deal on American Hustle is a prime example or not, we're glad she spoke out to bring attention to disparities exactly like these.

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