emma stone says her male co-stars take pay cuts for equality

This is what a feminist looks like.

by Hannah Ongley
07 July 2017, 5:54pm

"Women should be paid and respected equally," says Emma Stone in the trailer for Battle of the Sexes. The movie is based on the legendary 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, but it's still sadly true more than four decades later.

After all, it's not just our president who has outdated views on gender parity. (Though in the last few months, Donald Trump has managed to roll back fair pay protections and triple the White House pay gap.) The so-called coastal elites also have massive issues when it comes to gender and paychecks. Jennifer Lawrence, Natalie Portman, and Meryl Streep have all recently spoken about Hollywood's parity problem, as did Emma Stone while discussing Battle of the Sexes. Though it turns out her male co-stars have historically been somewhat more awesome than Hollywood execs. 

"In my career so far, I've needed my male co-stars to take a pay cut so that I may have parity with them. And that's something they do for me because they feel it's what's right and fair," Stone told Out. Considering her La La Land co-star Ryan Gosling can command $7M for indie flicks, that's kind of a BFD. The actress explained that the need for men to step up is something that's often ignored, and that her co-stars taking pay cuts actually "changes my quote in the future and changes my life."

Stone also noted the parallels between Battle of the Sexes and the U.S. presidential election. "We began shooting in the spring of 2016, when there was still a lot of hope in the air, and it was very interesting to see this guy — this narcissistic, self-focused, constantly-stirring-the-pot kind of guy — against this incredible, qualified woman," she said, likening the election aftermath to a very bad dream. "Those parallels make sense to me — the equal-pay issue makes a lot of sense to me."

Financial parity isn't the only feminist issue under the mic in Battle of the Sexes. The match took place as the Supreme Court made the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that's now being questioned nearly a half-century later. And Stone's love interest in the film is the hairdresser who later outed King as a lesbian, causing her to lose lucrative contracts, a reminder that LGBTQ job discrimination is still an issue today. At least women are killing it on screen right now, if not on the pay roll. 


Text Hannah Ongley
Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage

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