A problem that has faced Hollywood for years is the huge discrepancy between how much women get paid versus how much men get paid. Forbes released its annual highest paid actors and actresses lists this month, and it showed a glaring disparity in earnings among Hollywood’s A-listers. Forbes decided to combine the lists to show the difference between the highest paid men and women. Needless to say, it’s obvious that something needs to be done to even the playing field.
Highest Paid Woman Lands At No. 15
Emma Stone had a tremendous year, winning an Oscar for Best Actress for her starring role in the box office hit La La Land. She landed at number 15 on the overall list, despite being the highest paid actress in Hollywood. Stone earned an impressive $26 million in 2016, a lot of which was due to a back-end deal that cashed in because of the overwhelming success of La La Land. At the same time, her co-star Ryan Gosling took home $29 million, despite not winning any awards for his role.
Mark Wahlberg landed on the top spot of this year’s list, bringing in a whopping $68 million, more than 2.5 times Stone’s salary.
Hollywood Wage Gap Details
If La La Land would have flopped, Jennifer Aniston would have held the top spot for women; however, most of her $25.5 million salary is from various endorsements, which also speaks to how hard it is for women to match men in Hollywood. Aniston has been an A-list actress for over two decades, and her combined earnings doesn’t even land her in the top 15.
In fact, the top ten highest earning actors combined to rake in an astounding $488.5 million in 2016, nearly three times more than the $172.5 million that the top ten actresses earned in the same year. To put those numbers into perspective, Aniston ($25.5m), Jennifer Lawrence ($24m), and Melissa McCarthy ($18) represent the second, third, and fourth highest paid women in Hollywood respectively. If you combine their salaries, it still does not equal Wahlberg’s 2016 earnings.
According to a 2016 study referenced in the afore-mentioned Forbes article, women make up only 28.7% of all speaking roles in Hollywood.