By Lucy Cotter, Entertainment Correspondent, and Amy Hitchcock, Entertainment Producer, in Hollywood
Hollywood actress Gabourey Sidibe has revealed she is still paid less than her male co-stars despite having been nominated for an Oscar.
Sidibe, who was up for best actress at the Academy Awards for her performance in 2009 film Precious, said many women in the industry did not earn as much as men when “the only difference is genitals”.
She joined a host of prominent women from the world of film calling for gender equality ahead of this Sunday’s Oscars ceremony.
Speaking at a red carpet event in Hollywood, Sidibe told Sky News: “Oscar nominated or not, I’m paid less than my male co-stars, in the same way a lot of women are.
“A lot of women I work with in TV are incredible and talented and sometimes make less than half their male co-star and the only difference is genitals.”
Recent figures revealed only 24% of the 250 top-grossing films last year had female protagonists and even fewer had women behind the camera.
Lisa Bruce, producer of the Oscar-nominated film Darkest Hour, told Sky News: “It’s crazy, 50% of the population are women and up until now in Hollywood women have largely been ornamental.
“In smaller roles, that are fairly thin, they’re rarely the reason that the plot is going forward, they’re not driving the story and women are just as complicated as men if not more complicated, so it would be interesting to start to see that really change.”
Sunday’s Oscars ceremony will see the first ever female cinematographer nominated for an Oscar for the film Mudbound.
Rachel Morrison, who is up for the award, told Sky News: “If somehow being a role model helps pull other women out of the trenches then I’m all for doing what I can.”