Gillian Anderson Has Patricia Arquette To Thank For X-Files Reboot Pay Equality
Actress Gillian Anderson attends the ‘Viceroy’s House’ premiere during the 67th Berlinale International Film Festival Berlin at Berlinale Palace on February 12, 2017 in Berlin, Germany – Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Europe.
Patricia Arquette and Meryl Streep inspired Gillian Anderson to fight for equal pay after she was initially offered just half of The X-Files co-star David Duchovny’s salary.
Anderson and David Duchovny reprized their roles as FBI agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder for the 2016 sci-fi series revamp, 14 years after the original series ended, and the actress went public with her pay disparity problems as she promoted the mini-series.
Actors David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson speak onstage during “The X-Files” panel discussion at the FOX portion of the 2015 Winter TCA Tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel on January 15, 2016 in Pasadena, California – Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images North America.
“It had happened 20 years earlier, when we were doing the initial series, and then I fought for parity and won, and then was very, very surprised (when it happened again for the revamp),” she explained during an appearance on U.S. talk show The View. “In 2015, I thought that we had moved further on from that.”
Gillian admitted she was a little hesitant at first to confront show executives about the wage dispute, but she found strength in the empowering speech given by Boyhood star Arquette as she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in early 2015, and the subsequent political campaign backed by Streep calling for lawmakers to support equal pay for equal work.
Actors Joel McHale, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson and Creator/Executive Producer Chris Carter speak onstage during “The X-Files” panel discussion at the FOX portion of the 2015 Winter TCA Tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel on January 15, 2016 in Pasadena, California – Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images North America.
“I was surprised at how challenging I found (it) speaking out about it. I was afraid of shaming the woman who was partly in charge of making that decision,” she continued.
“It was around the time that Patricia Arquette had made the speech at the Oscars, and Meryl Streep was talking about pay equality, and just watching other empowered women stand up and say, ‘Speak the truth’ (made me stand up for myself).”
Actress Patricia Arquette attends the Hammer Museum Gala in the Garden honoring Laurie Anderson and Todd Haynes sponsored by Bottega Veneta, in Westwood, California, on October 8, 2016 – Photo: AFP/Valerie Macon.
The continuing problem of inequality in Hollywood was highlighted in 2014, when the Sony Pictures hack attack revealed a number of leading women, including American Hustle actress Jennifer Lawrence, had been paid considerably less than their male co-stars for the same work onscreen.
Meryl Streep attends the TimesTalks Presents Meryl Streep Discussing Her New Film “Florence Foster Jenkins” at The Times Center on August 11, 2016 in New York City – Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images North America.