Up until quite recently, the issue of pay equality in Hollywood had little traction. But since the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns highlighted the serious issues facing women in Hollywood, the film industries pay gap has also come to light. Female actors added their voice by revealing pay levels and stark pay inequality.

In 2015, Jennifer Lawrence published an essay on this issue, after learning through leaked emails that Sony had paid her considerably less than her male co-stars. She didn't blame Sony for the disparity but rather herself for failing to negotiate more effectively.

What's more, as a woman, she didn't want to appear difficult or demanding.

Subsequently, Lawrence received support from other actors, both male and female. Bradley Cooper was especially vocal, as was Reese Witherspoon. The issue was now up for debate and since then, the drive to fight for pay equality has been gathering momentum and has already had some success. According to a report on the Fortune website, Casey Bloys, the HBO president of programming told The Hollywood Reporter that the #TimesUp campaign had prompted the company to carry out a detailed 'review of pay across all HBO shows.' He added that they made sure that 'there were no inappropriate disparities in pay.' The report further states that Bloys now believes HBO's Gender Pay Gap to be fixed.

How Hollywood can help to promote pay equality

On #EqualPayDay2018, media outlets took the opportunity to highlight the gender pay gap once again. The executive director of Women in Film, Kirsten Schaffer, spoke to CNN, emphasizing that 'transparency is key.' Her organization has been campaigning for Equal Pay for quite some time now. Although people may not feel comfortable talking about money, Schaffer feels that doing so is crucial in the fight for change.

Speaking about pay revelations, she added, 'that's what we've learned through the examples of the last few months - that women have learned from their male colleagues how much they are making and also what they are not making - and that's why it has to change as an Amercian value.'

#TimesUp wants equal pay in Hollywood and beyond

Many actors have been weighing in behind the drive for equal pay, using award ceremonies to further highlight the issue.

They see it as a society-wide problem that needs to be addressed.

#TimesUp is now looking beyond Hollywood, adding its support for the One Fair Wage movement which has been campaigning for equal pay in the hospitality industry. According to CNN, Time's Up wants to broaden the conversation to cover all industries. Even within Hollywood, female service workers receive less pay than their male counterparts. This has led to the Art Department launching a petition for better pay. Speaking to CNN, Schaffer said that 'celebrities having the national stage and pushing the issue forward is important, but I also think that all of us looking in our own backyards is also part of the solution.' While significant chances are happening in Hollywood and beyond, it is likely to take campaigners quite some time to achieve equal pay.

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