In honor of Equal Pay Day, we've rounded up quotes from 19 badass celebrities who are speaking out about the gender wage gap in Hollywood and beyond.
"When the Sony hack happened 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. I didn't want to seem 'difficult' or 'spoiled'"—Lawrence in her Lenny Letter, "Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?"
"We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality. It isn't a reality yet. Today, women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but the average working woman earns only 77 percent of what the average working man makes. Equality will be achieved when men and women are granted equal pay and equal respect. Humanity requires both men and women, and we are equally important and need one another. So why are we viewed as less than equal?"—Beyoncé in an open essay she penned for The Shriver Report.
"I think we are in a cultural crisis in every field. In every industry, women are underrepresented and underpaid in leadership positions. Under 5 percent of CEOs of fortune 500 companies are women. Only 19 percent of Congress is women. No wonder we don't have the health care we deserve or paid family leave or public access to early childhood education. That really worries me. How can we expect legislation or our needs to be served if we don't have equal representation?"—Witherspoon at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards.
"Equality in pay. Paid sick leave. The thing that would change people's lives maybe more than anything, assuming that we maintain access to health care, is child care. If I could guarantee every mother who is working two, three jobs that she had good child care that didn't make her anxious all day — people would probably work in more efficient ways."—Parker to Cosmopolitan on the most pressing political issues.
"We are not supposed to talk about money, because people will think you're "difficult" or a "diva". But there's a willingness now to be like, "Fine. Call me a 'diva', call me a 'feminazi', call me 'difficult', call me a "First World feminist', call me whatever you want, it's not going to stop me from trying to do the right thing and make sure that the right thing happens. Because it doesn't just affect me, it affects all the other women who are in this with me, and it affects all the other men who are in this with me, too. Hollywood is just a small piece of a gigantic puzzle but it's in the spotlight. Whether you are a woman on a tea plantation in Kenya, or a stockbroker on Wall Street, or a Hollywood actress, no one is being paid equally."—Watson to Esquire UK.
"The dialogue around gender has completely changed. There is an issue in our country around people understanding equality and worth, and the worth of human beings in general for the work that they do. We as a country need to work on seeing people and their humanity for who they are, not based on gender, race, anything. We are having trouble with that so dialogue is always the way to go. And action."—Ross to The Hollywood Reporter.
"I think it's a good thing for someone like Jennifer [Lawrence] to speak out. (The discrepancy) is inherently unfair and she has an enormous platform to speak out against it. She's using that platform to correct something that isn't right. It's a long overdue conversation and it's admirable what she has done. This is an age-old issue that's in every part of society." —Mulligan to Deadline in response to Lawrence's Lenny Letter.
"To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else's equal rights. It's our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America."—Arquette in her Academy Awards acceptance speech in 2015.
"It can be painful. Your salary is a way to quantify what you're worth. If men are being paid a lot more for doing the same thing, it feels shitty."—Paltrow to Variety,via Page Six.
"The truth is we hire people to negotiate on our behalf, men and women... I knew I was being paid less and I still agreed to do it because the option comes down to do it or don't do it. So you just have to decide if it's worth it for you. It doesn't mean I liked it."—Adams to GQ UK on knowing that she was being paid less than her male co-stars on American Hustle.
"It's very hard being a woman in a man's world, and I recognized it was a man's world even when I was a kid. It's an inequality and injustice that drove me crazy, and which I always spoke out against—and I've always been outspoken. I'm known for being selective in part I either pick or pursue, and what matters most is that they be good female roles where the character isn't cardboard or objectified, and where there's real substance."—Saldana to Manhattan Magazine via EOnline.com.
"Once we start shifting how we perceive women and stop thinking about them as 'less than,' the pay disparity will take care of itself. There's a much bigger issue at hand. I'm glad Hollywood got caught. Money is the byproduct of everything."—Bullock to Variety.
"I have to give them credit because once I asked, they said yes. They did not fight it. And maybe that's the message: That we just need to put our foot down. This is a good time for us to bring this to a place of fairness, and girls need to know that being a feminist is a good thing. It doesn't mean that you hate men. It means equal rights. If you're doing the same job, you should be compensated and treated in the same way."—Theron to Elle UK on how she negotiated equal pay for her role in Snow White And The Huntsman.
"Let's apply that to women around the country who are in even starker situations when it comes to the wage gap in their non-Hollywood jobs. It's an issue in every single level of women in the workforce… If Jennifer Lawrence feels this pressure, imagine what it's like for women who don't necessarily have that power and profile. I'm just so glad that that was the dialogue that she was able to begin." — Dunham on Jennifer Lawrence's Lenny Letter, to Entertainment Weekly.
"For every empowered woman I meet, I see many more with tremendous potential who don't have the opportunity to realize their dreams. As a ninth-generation Texan and proud Mexican American, I'm especially committed to improving outcomes for my fellow Latinas. When they are in the workforce, Latinas earn less than 60 cents for every dollar a white man earns for the same job."—Longoria in "Empowering Latinas," an essay she wrote for The Shriver Report.
"With the pay gap in Hollywood, I think it's very easy to say—"oh, what are they complaining for? They're making millions of dollars." But by having a woman [Jennifer Lawrence] in the industry do this, it's easier for others to see it. It's easy to translate that on a smaller scale, and it's great that people are seeing that they should ask for what they're worth. It shouldn't have to be a fight to get that, but it is." —Ryan to Marie Claire.
"Someone wrote an article once that said I made a certain amount of money for The Martian. I made less than a quarter of that in reality. And so people are already saying, 'well, she's making a lot less than her male co-stars because she's making this.' I made less than a quarter of that in reality, so there is a huge wage gap in the industry."—Chastain to HuffPost Live.
"Every single interviewer asked, 'Isn't this an amazing time for women in comedy?' People really wanted us to be openly grateful—'Thank you so much!'—and we were like, 'No, it's a terrible time. If you were to really look at it, the boys are still getting more money for a lot of garbage, while the ladies are hustling and doing amazing work for less."—Fey to Town & Country.
"If somebody wants you, they're going to want you, and they're going to pay for you. Like a hooker. And you should stick to your guns about how powerful you are, because you are as powerful as you think you are. We should just ask for what we want. We don't need men to help negotiate; just start negotiating like a man."—Handler to Cosmopolitan.