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Olivia Colman speaks out against pay disparity in Hollywood: ‘If I was Oliver Colman…’

The Academy Award winning actor said she was once paid 12,000% less than a male co-star.
/ Source: TODAY

Olivia Colman is sharing her thoughts on the gender pay gap in Hollywood.

While promoting her movie “Wicked Little Letters” alongside director Thea Sharrock, Colman opened up about the continued pay disparity between men and women in Hollywood on CNN’s “The Amanpour Hour” with Christiane Amanpour.

When Amanpour asked Colman and Sharrock if women were now considered “big box office draws,” the actor shared her candid thoughts on the subject.

“Research suggests that they’ve always been big box office draws, but they have chosen to say…Don’t get me started on the pay disparity,” Colman began, before digressing. “But male actors get paid more because they used to say they draw in the audiences.”

“The Crown” star added, “But actually, that hasn’t been true for decades, but they still like to use that as a reason to not pay women as much as their male counterparts in our industry.”

When Amanpour pointed out that Colman was an Academy Award winning actor, she countered and replied, “I’m very aware that if I was Oliver Colman, I’d be earning a f--- of a lot more than I am.”

“I know of one pay disparity which is a 12,000% difference,” Colman shared. “Do the maths, I know.”

Colman is one of many actors who has been open about the pay disparity within Hollywood between men and women, including Emma Stone, who told Out magazine in July 2017, “In my career so far, I’ve needed my male co-stars to take a pay cut so that I may have parity with them.”

Michelle Williams made headlines in January 2018 after revealing that while she was paid less than $1,000 for her reshoots of “All the Money in the World,” Wahlberg was paid $1.5 million.

Viola Davis and Taraji P. Henson have also publicly tackled another pay gap in Hollywood — racial pay disparities.

At the 2018 Women in the World summit, while Davis discussed pay disparity in Hollywood between white women and Black women, she noted, “What they’re getting paid, which is half of what a man is getting paid … well, we get probably a tenth of what a Caucasian woman gets, and I’m No. 1 on the call sheet.”

When Henson appeared on Gayle King’s Sirius XM radio show in December 2023, she was asked by King if she’d ever considered taking a step back from acting, to which she replied, “I’m just tired of working so hard, being gracious at what I do, getting paid a fraction of the cost.”

“I’m tired of hearing my sisters say the same thing over and over. You get tired,” Henson added. “I hear people go, ‘You work a lot.’ I have to. The math ain’t mathing.”

She added, “And when you start working a lot, you have a team. Big bills come with what we do. We don’t do this alone. It’s a whole entire team behind us. They have to get paid.”