The rising blockbuster star of The Hunger Games feature franchise, and Best Actress winner for her work in Silver Linings Playbook, Jennifer Lawrence is a force of young Hollywood to be reckoned with. Coming off of her early success in the Oscar-nominated drama Winter’s Bone back in 2010, Lawrence has a built a name for herself as a smart, witty, and genial presence on the silver screen, one that fans and casual viewers have alike have come to adore and anticipate in each and every subsequent role.
However, as the Sony leaks of late last year revealed, Lawrence, in addition to many young actresses of her generation and older, is not beyond socially ingrained prejudices relating to gender. That is to say, even she has experienced the gross gap in wages between male and female stars working on major motion pictures, and you’d better believe the young starlet has something to say on the matter.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Lawrence is no longer content to remain “likeable” or “adorable” in an effort to save face in a male-dominated industry, where women who speak up for themselves may be deemed “difficult” or “spoiled.” Speaking to that issue, the actress stated:
“It’s hard for me to speak about my experience as a working woman, because I can safely say my problems aren’t exactly relatable.When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people [who were male], 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 keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don’t need.”
After learning that her male co-stars on American Hustle had received substantially inflated paychecks compared to that of her own and co-star Amy Adams — who was already getting paid more than the Oscar-winning performer. Lawrence has ostensibly decided that enough is enough, citing the gender divide that has become standard in the film industry, remarking further, “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.”
Fortunately for Lawrence, her words of outrage and cultural critique have been echoed online by several noted feminist actors, including Emma Watson, Elizabeth Banks, Jessica Chastain, and Mark Ruffalo. In addition, frequent co-star Bradley Cooper voiced his support in solidarity with the efforts of his frequent co-worker in conversation with E! News, commenting, “One thing I could say is that’s interesting because if you think that you only deserve a certain amount and that’s not correct, it’s about changing that mindset and sticking up for yourself. So that’s a great thing.”
Watson, Banks, Chastain, and Ruffalo offered the following words of support on Twitter:
O Jennifer Lawrence I love you so. X— Emma Watson (@EmWatson) October 13, 2015
I love Jennifer Lawrence. http://t.co/x2jAbnUsmy— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) October 13, 2015
Yessssssss! Get it girl xx https://t.co/L3w0nNnqGQ— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) October 13, 2015
It’s unlikely that many will find Lawrence’s position hard to relate to, as the injustice which she is speaking out against effects every working woman, regardless of celebrity status. Even if Lawrence is in a privileged position from which to voice her opinions, the inequality that she is formally addressing and bringing further attention to is in dire need of redress, and we’re all lucky that she is offering herself as tribute once more to such a worthy cause for social justice.