The year is 2014 but it might as well be the dark ages because everywhere we look there's inequality for women, particularly in the acting field. The most recent crime against women in Hollywood is a study published by The Journal of Management Inquiry that has discovered that an actress' salary plummets after she hits the ancient age of 34. This new statistic is gross, but it's not shocking. Women have been getting the short end of the movie stick for ages now.
Actress Keira Knightley has spoken out about the issue of the male-dominated industry saying, "Hollywood has a really long way to go. I don’t think that anybody can deny that, really, and I think as much as you are getting more women playing lead roles… they’re still pretty few and far between."
All too often the roles offered to women are of little substance. An anonymous actress has been documenting lines from casting calls that are more than a little sexist. Characters sought after include "busty lab workers," an "attractive comic book nerd," and more based on looks alone. This isn't just for small-time film operations either, large productions also exploit their female actresses. Remember when Alice Eve had to do an underwear scene in Star Trek purely for entertainment value and having roughly nothing to do with the actual plot?
There is a very gender specific problem in Hollywood and this study about wages comes in a long line of other ways women are mistreated by the industry. But finally the study is putting this disparity into a hard number. The study found that when women reached the age of 34, their salary started to decrease rapidly, while male actors' salaries increased steadily until they reached the age of 51, at which point the salaries stayed stable. So men keep making more and more money for an extra 17 years before their salary stays constant at that high number. It doesn't drop off for the men at all which is an outrageous statistic.
But why should it surprise me that women's worth goes down as their bodies age? That's apparently all Hollywood wants them for anyway.
Images: Paramount Pictures