Today in WTF: Gillian Anderson was offered half of David Duchovny’s pay for the new X-Files

Today in WTF: Gillian Anderson was offered half of David Duchovny’s pay for the new X-Files

(Photo: Frank Ockenfels/FOX)
(Photo: Frank Ockenfels/FOX)

The wage gap between men and women in Hollywood has been a topic of note in the past year, with Jennifer Lawrence, Amanda Seyfried, and others weighing in on the disparity between the amounts paid to men to play make-believe for a living vs. women. With that kind of spotlight on the issue, one would think those in the industry might be inclined to try to course-correct, in order to avoid such charges in the future. One would be wrong, though: In a new interview with The Daily Beast, Gillian Anderson discusses how she was only offered half of what David Duchovny was set to make for the new season of The X-Files. (The revelation was first aired in an oral history of the show published by The Hollywood Reporter.)

I’m surprised that more [interviewers] haven’t brought that up because it’s the truth. Especially in this climate of women talking about the reality of [unequal pay] in this business, I think it’s important that it gets heard and voiced. It was shocking to me, given all the work that I had done in the past to get us to be paid fairly. I worked really hard toward that and finally got somewhere with it. Even in interviews in the last few years, people have said to me, “I can’t believe that happened, how did you feel about it, that is insane.” And my response always was, “That was then, this is now.” And then it happened again! I don’t even know what to say about it.

Anderson and Duchovny were eventually paid the same amount for their work, but seriously, Fox, half? For Scully? The unpleasantness of that reality aside, Anderson is a delightful interview throughout the piece, holding court on a number of issues, including her thoughts about Donald Trump. (“I cannot imagine—I cannot imagine—that if it’s real, if he really is as despicable a human being as he behaves, that enough Americans would allow and desire him to be in office.”) Good thing they didn’t also offer her half the interview time of her male costars, because then we would be missing out.

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