HBO Fixed Gender Pay Disparity on All of Its Shows
Pay parity shockers are all too common, as Princes out-earn Queens and X-Files agents fight for equal pay. HBO has preemptively taken matters into its own hands (with a little help from Reese Witherspoon) to ensure “no inappropriate disparities” between male and female stars.
HBO boss Casey Bloys confirmed as much in conversation with The Hollywood Reporter; specifically with regard to the Big Little Lies cast becoming voices of the “Time’s Up” movement. The series’ second season led to significant pay raises for producer-stars Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, on account of HBO not initially planning Season 2 contracts. As such, Bloys was inspired to look at pay disparities on the network’s other shows:
One of the things that’s come out of thinking about the movement and some conversations with Reese, who’s really at the forefront, is something we’ve done recently. We’ve proactively gone through all of our shows — in fact, we just finished our process where we went through and made sure that there were no inappropriate disparities in pay; and where there were, if we found any, we corrected it going forward. And that’s is a direct result of the Times Up movement.
Bloys naturally declined to list any shows where they’d found issues of pay disparity, but did clarify that different levels of experience and awards recognition influence initial salaries. The initiative was geared more toward series that last multiple seasons, as “when you get into season two or three of a show and the show is a success, it is much harder to justify paying people wildly disparate numbers.” It’s likely that measure also extends to Game of Thrones, as salary tiers and renegotiation among cast have been chronicled for years.
HBO has also made headlines with the money dropped on Big Little Lies Season 2 and Game of Thrones spinoffs, but will other networks follow their example?
Gallery: TV Twists That Fans Figured Out Way in Advance