When it comes to wage disparity between men and women in Hollywood, not even the FBI’s most famous paranormal investigators are immune.
“X-Files” costar Gillian Anderson, who plays agent Dana Scully, has been drawing attention to the gender gap in pay in interviews leading up to the Sunday premiere of the series’ revival on Fox.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she said she was offered “half of what they wanted to offer” costar David Duchovny, who plays agent Fox Mulder, to participate in the reboot.
Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Anderson and Duchovny ultimately received equal pay. Still, Anderson said, it was galling given that she had fought this battle before during the series’ first run.
It took three years for her to close the gap between what she and Duchovny were making in the 1990s after becoming fed up with accepting less than “equal pay for equal work,” she told the Daily Beast.
“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,” she said.
The wage gap in Hollywood has been drawing attention as more actresses speak up about it. Oscar-winning star Jennifer Lawrence recently lent her voice to the cause, saying she was paid less than her male co-stars on “American Hustle” and that it’s time for her to stop being “adorable” when it comes to negotiating.
Anderson noted that the more things change, the more they seem to stay the same.
“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.”
It’s not just about pay. During the first run of “The X-Files,” the studio also initially required Anderson to stand a few feet behind her male costar on camera, Anderson told the Daily Beast.
“I can only imagine that at the beginning, they wanted me to be the sidekick,” she said. “Or that, somehow, maybe it was enough of a change just to see a woman having this kind of intellectual repartee with a man on camera, and surely the audience couldn’t deal with actually seeing them walk side by side!”