Scarlett Johansson, the highest earning woman in Hollywood, says female stars are underpaid

Marvel star Scarlett Johansson is the highest paid woman in Hollywood. She is claiming females in the profession are underpaid.  

Johansson sat down with Glamour to promote her newly released film Black Widow. She commented, “As a woman, you have to be [your own ally] all the time because we are underminded and underserved and under-appreciated and underpaid – you have to be your own ally.” Johansson said she learned from her mother to advocate for herself in the industry to avoid facing gender discrimination.

“Equal pay is a huge part of that fight,” she stated. “Even when I was a teenager in the industry or a young woman, I should say, my mom would have those conversations. Like, ‘why is she not getting [paid the same]?” In 2019, the actress made $56 million and will earn another $25 million with the release of her new movie (OutKick).  

The Daily Wire notes that one explanation for the difference between the pay of male and female actors may be because male-led films often outperform their female-led counterparts. For example, “Black Panther” (2018), which included Chadwick Boseman at the forefront, garnered over $700 million domestically while “Captain Marvel” (2019), led by Brie Larson, earned $427 million.

Johansson had her own thoughts on this idea, stating, “There was always these little key terms, like, ‘bankability,’ and ‘box office draw.’ Those are all terms that are basically masquerading as sexism. It never had anything to do with those things. And if there ever was, it was also part of this systemic issue that a woman could not be as bankable or have a box office draw.” Johansson made no mention of whether or not it is unfair that some of her male co-stars, like Robert Downey Jr., make more than others, like Chris Evans.

While Johansson takes a traditionally progressive stance with her comment on the pay gap, she has not always been particularly favored by the progressive crowd. In 2017, she stared as the lead character in Ghost in the Shell a remake of an original Japanese anime. Many called her out for “whitewashing” the role, which was made for a Japanese protagonist.

At one point, she was also cast to play the role of a transgender male, but when she received criticism for accepting the project as a cisgender woman, Johansson withdrew. She responded, saying, “You know, as an actor, I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree or any animal because that is my job and the requirements of my job.”


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