Olivia Colman Criticizes Gender Disparities in Film-Industry Earnings

Olivia Colman Criticizes Gender Disparities in Film-Industry Earnings

©Photo by Parisa Taghizadeh/Parisa Taghizadeh

Olivia Colman, the Oscar-winning actress and producer, recently criticized the gender disparities in pay in the movie industry. In an interview this week on CNN’s The Armapour Hour, she remarked, “I’m very aware that if I was Oliver Colman, I’d be earning a fuck of a lot more than I am. I know of one pay disparity, which is a 12,000 percent difference.”

Continuing, Colman asserted that women have always been “big office draws,” a fact that doesn’t seem to have any influence when it comes to remuneration for their work. “Male actors get paid more because they used to say they draw in the audiences and actually, that hasn’t been true for decades,” she added. “But they still like to use that as a reason to not pay women as much.”

Colman, who was promoting her recent film Wicked Little Letters, grumbled that “People say men get paid more because they get more bums on seats. That’s a lie! It can be proved in the box office. I don’t know why we’re still having to discuss it!”

As evidence, she noted in a RadioTimes interview last month that “some of the biggest-grossing films – Barbie, Bridesmaids, Thelma & Louise – are led by women.”

In a recent podcast, Colman also complained of the double standard by which women are judged more harshly for their use of obscene language in films. In the context of Wicked Little Letters, she said “If a woman swears, people act shocked. Fuck off! Women are human – funny, filthy, loving, caring – just like men. The women [in the film] are looked at and judged and, unfortunately, that still exists. Trolling is something they did even then [in the 1920s], but in the form of letter writing.”

Colman, also noted for her roles as the late Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown and as the eighteenth-century monarch Queen Anne in The Favourite, was likely not paid a king’s ransom for these performances.

Just for the record, according to Forbes magazine, the highest-paid actor in 2023 was Adam Sandler, who earned $73 million, followed by Barbie’s Margot Robbie, at $59 million. The only other woman in the top-ten list was sixth-place Jennifer Aniston, who took in $42 million.

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