Emilia Clarke says she has "always been paid the same" as her male Game of Thrones co-stars, but that equal pay still remains "rife in the industry" if you dig beneath the surface.
In an interview with Variety at the Cannes Film Festival, to promote the latest prequel to the Star Wars franchise, the American actress speaks openly about equality in the entertainment world, a campaign led in large part by the Time's Up movement.
In 2015, actress Jennifer Lawrence wrote an essay entitled "Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co‑Stars?" which was published in Lenny, the feminist newsletter produced by Lena Dunham.
But, as the Variety journalist rightly recalls, the subject was taken far less seriously at that time.
Today, a small revolution is taking place, and Clarke finds the recent revelations on the pay gap between men and women for equal work "shocking, actually shocking".
Nonetheless, Emilia Clarke reassures her fans: "On Game of Thrones, I have always been paid the same amount as my male co-stars."
"That was my first job, and I’ve never been discriminated against in terms of pay because I’m a woman."
It must be said that when Game of Thrones began in 2011, most of its starring actors were unknown and had little experience.
Things become more complicated when popularity and actors’ careers come into play. This is when the negotiations begin, and far too often, they are to the disadvantage of the actresses, even when playing the leading role, as was recently the case in The Crown.
The commitment of Game of Thrones producers to preserve equal pay for all these years is to be commended. But Emilia Clarke remains vigilant, especially in her other jobs, where the question is inevitably raised:
"You start to dig deep and see where it is, rife in the industry. So I think it’s mainly in the beginning, about just being aware that, and going ‘Can you just check? Because we have the same experience, so perhaps we should…’ You just start to fight harder for that stuff."
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