Jennifer Lawrence slams Hollywood sexism in essay

Actress Jennifer Lawrence expresses anger after she discovers she is paid millions less than her male co-stars

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Jennifer Lawrence

Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence says she's had it with trying to be "adorable" when it comes to sexism in Hollywood and equal pay for women.

In a no-holds barred attack on the Hollywood wage gap on Tuesday, the "Hunger Games" star said that in the past she worried about being labeled a spoiled brat when negotiating movie deals. But men do not have that problem, she said in an essay for the Lenny newsletter produced by "Girls" writer and director Lena Dunham.

Lawrence, 25, who according to Forbes was the world's highest-paid film actress last year with an estimated $52 million in earnings from movies and endorsements, found out through leaked Sony Pictures emails last year that she had been paid millions less than any of her three male co-stars in the 2013 movie "American Hustle."

"When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn't get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early," Lawrence wrote.

Lawrence, who won a Academy Award in 2013 for her role in "Silver Linings Playbook," said she did not want to come across at the time as difficult or spoiled "until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn't worry about being 'difficult' or 'spoiled.'"

While Lawrence may be the biggest Hollywood earner among women - thanks largely to the blockbuster "The Hunger Games" movie franchise - she came nowhere near the estimated $80 million pay day for "Iron Man" star Robert Downey Jr., according to Forbes.

But her fierce essay on Tuesday, titled "Why Do These Dudes Make More Than Me?," reflects a more combative attitude by Hollywood's biggest female stars.

"I'm over trying to find the 'adorable' way to state my opinion and still be likable! ... Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale, and Bradley Cooper all fought and succeeded in negotiating powerful deals for themselves. If anything, I'm sure they were commended for being fierce and tactical, while I was busy worrying about coming across as a brat and not getting my fair share," she wrote.

Meryl Streep told the BBC last week that she too gets paid less than her male co-stars, while "Boyhood" actress Patricia Arquette used her Oscar acceptance speech in February to demand wage equality for all women.