Photo courtesy of Hispanicize

Pay inequality in the entertainment industry is nothing new. Although things have changed in recent years, this is one of the businesses where the wage gap is more evident. 

Although today’s entertainment industry is what it is thanks to the work and talent of women, the situation regarding pay inequality has changed much. Yes, there is a difference from the past, but everything has been moving at a glacial pace. For example, In Forbes’ list of the 25 highest-paid entertainers in 2022, only four women from all entertainment fields managed to achieve a position in the ranking instead of the 21 men who quickly made the list.

Discrimination in the industry 

Discrimination plays a significant role in the problem of gender roles in the entertainment industry, specifically in the film and television industry, where women, according to  2017 data, earn up 38% of what men earn. 

Although there are many arguments and layers in this issue, discrimination is the main problem. Many women get the end of the stick when it comes to wages. For example, fewer women are chosen for action movies and series. A case in point was the movie “All the Money in The World,” in which Michelle Williams was paid eight times less than her co-star Mark Wahlberg.

And in music, the panorama is not very different either — it can actually be worse. 

The group HAIM, for example, was paid ten times less at a music festival than another male artist, which led to them firing their agent.

The importance of contacts and the lack of women in leadership positions 

When it comes to job opportunities in the industry, everything is handled more informally. The best job offers are often made known by word of mouth or by personal recommendations, thus taking away the opportunity for potential candidates.

And in the most important leadership positions, men are always in charge. In fact, in the American music industry, only one woman is leading a major label: Sylvia Rhone at Epic Records. It is pretty evident in this case, given that there are currently some 13 major labels operating, and 12 of them are run by men, according to Rolling Stone.

The problems in pay inequality result from many factors that have been generated in the industry throughout history. Although there is no immediate solution and the progress is plodding, the female presence in the industry is undeniable and growing by the minute.