Like Beyoncé, Amanda Seyfried, and Sandra Bullock before her, Jennifer Lawrence has now weighed in on the wage gap in Hollywood. In a relatively brief essay she wrote for Lena Dunham’s Lenny newsletter, Lawrence says she’s “over trying to find the ‘adorable’ way to state my opinion and still be likable,” writing that, like other women in Hollywood, she’s taken less than she deserved in an attempt not to appear “difficult” or “spoiled.” In the blunt and charming essay, Lawrence says backing down unnecessarily is what led to her making less than she should have in recent years—which was revealed by the Sony hack—something she’s come to regret. In the essay, she writes,
“At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, 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.” This could be a young-person thing. It could be a personality thing. I’m sure it’s both. But this is an element of my personality that I’ve been working against for years, and based on the statistics, I don’t think I’m the only woman with this issue. Are we socially conditioned to behave this way? We’ve only been able to vote for what, 90 years? I’m seriously asking—my phone is on the counter and I’m on the couch, so a calculator is obviously out of the question. Could there still be a lingering habit of trying to express our opinions in a certain way that doesn’t “offend” or “scare” men?”
Lawrence goes to describe a recent work situation she had where she says she “spoke [her] mind and gave [her] opinion in a clear and no-bullshit way; no aggression, just blunt,” only to have a man working for her say, “Whoa! We’re all on the same team here!” As she puts it, that’s offensive and shocking not just because “nothing [she] said was personal, offensive, or, to be honest, wrong,” but because, “All I hear and see all day are men speaking their opinions, and I give mine in the same exact manner, and you would have thought I had said something offensive.”
Lawrence really brings her message home in the closing paragraph of her piece when she writes,
“I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard. It’s just heard. 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. Again, this might have NOTHING to do with my vagina, but I wasn’t completely wrong when another leaked Sony email revealed a producer referring to a fellow lead actress in a negotiation as a “spoiled brat.” For some reason, I just can’t picture someone saying that about a man.”
Boom! Roasted! Consider yourself on notice, Hollywood accountants and dealmakers. Jennifer Lawrence isn’t fucking around anymore.