Since it was International Women’s Day yesterday, here a Hollywood story about equality. Few weeks ago, new six episodes of X-Files premiered and caused a big stir. Not so much because of the fans and their genuine interest in seeing what agents Scully and Mulder have been up to in all this time, but more because of one of Hollywood’s two new favorite topics: women & Hollywood and race & Hollywood. Equal pay is all the rage for past years, becoming a huge issue after Patricia Arquette’s Oscar acceptance speech last year, with Jennifer Lawrence quickly jumping on the bandwagon.
The fact that women should be paid the same amount for the same job as men is undisputable. But the world of profit is more complicated than that. And that’s what the entertainment industry is: a business. In this world, the question is not what work you have delivered. The question is if your name will lure people into buying a movie ticket. Or turn on the TV. Basically the question is: do you have the potential to earn millions? Or to put it other way: Are you replaceable?
The stir started when Gillian Andreson told the press that she was initially offered half of Duchovny’s pay for the new X-Files. (Apparently at the end she got the same amount.)
The initial reaction may be OMG! But the reality of show business is more complicated (and harsher) than that.
While the fact is that she has worked continuously since X-Files (and surely did awesome work), the real questions are: do you remember one thing she was in? Would her name help you decide to go see a movie or a TV show? If Duchovny got replaced in the new X-Files would she be able to carry the show?
And then there’s David Duchovny, the star of Californication, his own extremely successful show that ran for seven seasons (in the industry the length equals the success) and a face (name) we’ve seen in a few big movies since the original X-Files. Now the same questions apply: Would his name help you decide to go see a movie or a TV show? If Anderson got replaced in the new X-Files would he be able to carry the show alone?
It’s tough. Because at the end of the day it's not about if you're a woman, a man, black, white or pink. It's about the profit.
As long as profit is the only goal, and the only factor for making decisions, it will be very hard (impossible?) to fight for equality, let alone justice, environment, or peace. And no, it isn't fair.