Jennifer Lawrence says calling her a ‘brat’ over pay disparity proves her point

Jennifer Lawrence

The Jennifer Lawrence news is coming fast and hard now, although I’m exaggerating. There are a smattering of stories thus far to promote Mockingjay: Part 2. Josh Hutcherson has been taking some sweet prank revenge out on our heroine by telling EW.com about her annoying habits. Mainly, he says she’s a leg bouncer and does so out of a “nervous jitter,” which makes sense for a woman who calls herself a “chihuahua.” Hutch goes further and says he sometimes thinks JLaw’s leg bouncing is an “earthquake” for real.

Jennifer herself is also talking. She did a press conference where she explained more about her pay disparity essay that people won’t stop talking about, which is good. People should keep talking about the issue, or nothing will ever happen. Jennifer says the reactions of some newspapers and blogs proved her point by calling her a “brat.” In the initial essay, she spoke of how she previously held back in salary negotiations for fear of being labelled “difficult.” Yet the moment she expressed that concern, people did label her an ungrateful brat. Do people call Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr. brats? Nope, they do not, and that’s why JLaw is still talking:

JLaw on the pay disparity essay: “It was more of how did my mentality get in my own way of fighting just as hard as the men to get a better deal. I hoped to just write about my own fears of how am I going to be portrayed? Or how am I going to look? How will people judge me? Obviously the men in the movie don’t think that way. Even after I wrote it, I don’t remember the website, but they called it ‘Jennifer Lawrence’s bratty display.’ And I was like, ‘Thank you for completely making my point.’ If a woman speaks up, is assertive and has a voice, she’s going to be called a ‘brat.’ I don’t see a man being called a ‘brat.’”

Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson agrees “As girls we don’t always have the confidence to feel like we won’t be judged if we speak up. That’s at the heart of that essay. It’s a really important thing to speak up.”

[From USA Today]

People can’t believe JLaw would ask for more millions, yet those folks wouldn’t bat an eye at her male co-stars’ paychecks. It’s all so disturbing, and just as many (if not more) women were wagging their fingers at greedy Jennifer, who couldn’t leave well enough alone. Come on, people. Both men and women should be paid what they’re worth, but in almost all cases, women are the ones getting stiffed for doing the same (or a greater) job. Enough is enough, and Jennifer is not a “brat” for refusing to sit back and get paid less than her male costars.

Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence

Photos courtesy of WENN

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48 Responses to “Jennifer Lawrence says calling her a ‘brat’ over pay disparity proves her point”

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  1. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Wow. She’s completely right. I was never a fan, but I have a lot of respect for her for speaking up about this. Not only the disparity in pay, but the disparity in attitude towards those who dare to ask for equal treatment.

    • susiecue says:

      Well-stated, and I agree! How is she greedy (or bratty for that matter)? She isn’t asking for anything other than equality in pay. This is an issue that should have been put to bed, tucked in, and read to well before 2015.

      • Wiffie says:

        Nobody ever called a man ungrateful or bratty for bartering for higher pay. He is savvy and smart. It disgusts me that women are still second class citizens in some regards, and o hope it isn’t this way when my two daughters enter the work force.

        I find it interesting, too, that on the post where she has a fantastic point, there are no comments because the usual crowd of jlaw haters have nothing to say.

    • Snazzy says:

      Yes! I am totally with her on this one.

    • pinetree13 says:

      YEP! The only part I disliked was again blaming it on that women are lacking the confidence to ask for more money. That is an old trope and while sometimes true, isn’t always. I know for a fact that even when women DO ask for raises they are LESS likely to get them then men. And even when women DO put their names up for promotion, the men are more likely to be promoted. I hate when people say the pay gap is solely because women don’t negotiate or go for those positions. Yes, women often negotiate less and less women may strive for career advancement but that is NOT the whole story. Even very confident, ambitious women are discriminated against and have to work harder than their male peers to get ahead.

    • Liv says:

      And she’s in the position to call them out. Someone who just starts out or isn’t that successful is not able to change it.

  2. Grace says:

    I love her!

  3. Div says:

    She’s 100% correct in that female celebrities are discussed in a much different manner with sexist language. I was reading a piece on Rooney Mara & Carol recently, and the language used to describe her reputation (cold, icy) was something I’ve never really seen aimed at men. There is also no way in hell Jeremy Renner should have made more money than her, which is something a lot of the criticisms aimed at her seemed to totally ignore or skim over in favor of going “well, Bradley had more screen time.”

    • LadyMTL says:

      ITA, and I find it really sad that this is still the case. Heck, I remember when I was a lot younger my mom telling me the differences in how people refer to men and women (e.g. women are called b*tches, men are determined or ambitious) and being shocked. Yet, it still happens and worse yet, younger women like JLaw and Emma Watson get heat for calling bullsh*t on it all.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Yes. It all stems from the underlying attitude that women must be sweet and pleasing, while men can be “hard hitting” and “ambitious.” When I was a child, these things were actually said out loud, and since they aren’t any more, I hoped the attitude itself had diminished, but it hasn’t, really, has it?

    • Jellybean says:

      I believe I am right in saying at this point that we don’t know what Renner got paid or how many days he worked, although he was certainly on set longer than Lawrence. We do know he got 9% of the back end, which was the same as Cooper and Bale, but we do not know how much he got paid upfront; one report I read the other day said he got $1M which would be significantly less than Lawrence. It also seems that Bale and Cooper both gave up 1% to bring Lawrence in, so I assume that means they were originally on 10%. When the the guys were first signed on, months before Lawrence, a much lower upfront payment to Renner and 1% less on the backend would have been about right, especially since it appears Renner’s role was cut down during filming and it was probably done to give Lawrence more screen time, since a significant role for that character was a late addition. Maybe they asked Renner to take a pay cut too and he said no, that his right if they had already signed a contract. I also think I am right in saying Adam’s upfront payment is unknown, she may have chosen a large upfront payment and a lower percentage. My gut feeling is to be indifferent about Lawrence’s pay, considering the circumstances, but to be angry for Amy Adams; but in actual fact there isn’t enough information for that either.

  4. The New Classic says:

    1) The header photo makes it look like she’s had her top lip done.
    2) I really love it when she has her hair long and blonde.
    3) The fact that she got paid less for American Hustle than Jeremy Freaking Renner is a slap in the face. She is one of the hottest and best actresses out there right now and they give Jeremy Craterface Renner a larger salary? REALLY?!?!

    • justagirl says:

      Yes, the Hustle/Renner example is ridiculous. It makes no sense, whether based on screen time/equal pay for equal work, or related to demand/box office draw. His role was much smaller, and he’s not as big of a draw.

    • Jellybean says:

      “She is one of the hottest and best actresses out there RIGHT NOW ….. ” all the actors in American Hustle signed their contracts 3 YEARS AGO, with the exception of Jennifer Lawrence who was signed on much later. In the original script Lawrence’s character was very minor and I assume back end percentages were agreed in 2012 without any thought for who would take that role. If you have a budget and you agreed where all the profits are going then you can only give a late comer a piece if others are prepared to tear up their contract and give away some of their money – would you do that, especially if the changes impacted in a negative way on your role?

  5. ali.hanlon says:

    Sorry, she is a master of the straw man argument.

    She twists things to make it seem like she is a victim.

    Say she is too heavy to play a starving person means you are calling her fat and so on and so on.

    Any critiques she just twists it so the media defends her while the original argument is forgotten.

  6. Sara says:

    It’s such a vicious circle right? We are taught not only not to ask for our due, to make the best of what we have (while looking lovely, composed and unruffled), but also to judge our own gender for breaking the unspoken rules, thus making it even lonelier and scarier for those want to break those glass ceilings.

  7. astrid says:

    Team Jen!

  8. Ninks says:

    So many people love to throw around the fact that she was paid more money than Hutcherson and Hemsworth in the Hunger Games series. As if that somehow invalidates her argument than she should have been paid more for American Hustle. Just because one production company gave her what she’s worth does not mean they all do.

    She may have had less screen time than the guys on American Hustle but she was front and centre of all the promotion for it. Sony marketed the movie around her. She was the main selling point, not Cooper or Bale and definitely not Renner. She deserved to get the same back end deal as them for that alone.

    • Algernon says:

      And as I’ve said before, it’s not really about comparing her with Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson. JLaw is on the level of RDJ, Johnny Depp, etc, she’s one of the most famous, popular actors in the world. She’s an A-list headliner, but her franchise salary for Hunger Games isn’t close to what RDJ gets for the Iron Man movies, and they’re comparably successful. She’s worth as much as RDJ in the marketplace and should be getting paid equal to him but isn’t.

  9. kiran says:

    I am liking her! Yet it is so difficult to relate to the amounts of money paid to celebrities…hoping the press coverage regarding changes in wage inequality at the top of the film industry inspires change in pay for those of us working the front lines in areas such as education, health care and social services. I’m so ready to earn a living wage instead of being a paycheck away from poverty.

  10. Talie says:

    Yes, “brat” has become a code word in those circles because they know they can’t use other terminology.

    • Jellybean says:

      Or it could be a reference to her age. I am sure Justin Bieber has been called a brat, of course his behavior does justify the name, but to make $52M in your 24th year and then come out and complain about how much you are paid could make you seem like a spoiled brat. I know she was pointing out that she has learned to negotiate hard, but it seems most media people these days don’t bother checking their source material, beyond looking for a click worthy soundbite..

      • K2 says:

        I’m pretty sure Angelina Jolie was called a brat by a Sony exec. And she’s pushing 40, isn’t she?

        It seems to be a code word for a woman who takes no prisoners. A dismissive, belittling one.

      • Jellybean says:

        Fair point K2, but I think anyone trying to poach a director from an existing project, behind the studio’s back, would have earned a derogatory comment. The difference is that they would probably have just come out and called a man a b**tard.

      • K2 says:

        I don’t think anyone disputes that – it’s the choice of language used for women, which is demeaning and dismissive in a way that used for men isn’t. It’s telling that you felt “brat” was suitable for Beiber, while the word used for a disliked male producer of that age would be “bastard”.

        I doubt anyone wants women shielded from criticism. They just want them treated as adults, and not irritating children, who can’t fully contribute, you know?

  11. OSTONE says:

    I don’t play at work, I am ambitious, straightforward and to the point. I joke around of course, but this male colleague always tells me I am mean because I am not always smiling and will not sugar coat anything. Also, my husband works with me and whenever said colleague sees us, he asks my husband permission so he can hug me. I told him that next time he wants to hug me, to ask ME for permission. He couldn’t believe it. WTF.

  12. rue says:

    What a ridiculous hypocrite and master of media manipulation!!!! NOBODY calling her brat! Actually, everybody price and supporting her for being brave and ballsy! But she STILL complain and play The Victim Card on purpose to get even MORE sympathy and compassion . Did you guys really didnt see that she turned into kind of narsissist that constantly needed admireness and worshiping. She is just one more typical hollywood overrated overpriced yet entitled egomaniac. But since The Hunger Games made huge box-office – all the bulls-hit that JLAW throw away is unfairly justified. One more time – public and media tolerate to her cockiness and crassness ONLY(!!!) because of her franchises box-officess – just like back in the days it was with KStew, who was too arrogant and ignorant AND hypocrite but still has free pass. And all this tolerantness was over in the minute right after her franchise was over – will see that same gonna happens with JLaw.
    yet they hate Anne Hathaway…
    p.s. sorry for all my mistakes – english not my native language :) ))

    • Korra says:

      They did. A LOT of people did call her a brat. And said she was whining and complaining over nothing.

      • rue says:

        Korra, maybe commenters on internet really criticizing her – they hate and trashing EVERYONE – that is internet for BUT ALL the MEDIA and other ARTISTS like BCoop, Chastain, EBanks, ect… come out publicly to supporting and agree with her. But for egomaniac like JLaw that is NOT ENOUGH – she wants not just support but WORSHIPING and Adoration. Its surprises me HOW people didn’t see that she is totally self-centered and narcissistic.

      • Helo says:

        @rue: Yikes, I must respectfully disagree with just about EVERYTHING you have written here…wow, not a single point clicks, rings true.

  13. Sam says:

    She even acknowledged in her essay that it isn’t a case of needing the money. She’s not complaining that she doesn’t make enough, only complaining that she isn’t being treated on an equal level of men.

    I wish people would understand that no matter how much money you make, if your pay is not comparable to that of your male counterparts, you are being treated unfairly.

    • pinetree13 says:

      Exactly this. Plus it draws attention to the issue which can be something good for ALL organizations to note.

  14. alice says:

    Knowing how much JLaw desperate attention seeker I already feels that The Hunger Games-4 promo tour will be totally exhausting and overexposing. Just wonder how many Lawrense prepare STUNTS, schicks and tricks for it??

  15. doug says:

    This article (like so many on this site when it comes to pay disparity) completely misses the point. Quote from the above: “Both men and women should be paid what they’re worth”. Let me let you in on a little secret, NO ONE gets paid what their worth. People get paid what they can negotiate. No CEO is worth $50 mil and no movie star is worth $20 mil in salary plus all the back end stuff. They get it because they have leverage and can demand it. That’s why RDJ gets paid 10 times more for the Marvel movies even though the need Evans and Hemsworth and Johansson just as much. He doesn’t ‘deserve’ more, he took it.

    The problem with this writer/article is the assumption that JLaw should just ‘get’ what she’s worth. Unless she is prepared to fight for it then no, she does not. JLaw might get hired because she is talented but she does not get paid for that talent. She gets paid what she can negotiate. The skill set that make one a good actor/actress is not the same that makes someone a good negotiator on salary and contracts. That’s why they have teams of people they pay a lot of money to do that. If the studio could get away with paying all the stars a dollar each, they would.

    Until women start demanding the pay and stop simply expecting it to be handed to them because they don’t want to be disliked or criticized, they will not be paid the same. This attitude that they should be paid more ‘just because’ is ridiculous.

    All pay and compensation is negotiation. Stop waiting for it to be handed to you. Your male co-stars aren’t. While you sit around a fret about being disliked, they are demanding more and getting it. So could JLaw, but then 30 people somewhere would call her a brat and she can’t handle that.

    • Korra says:

      What you’re saying about negotiating isn’t wrong but it’s missing the societal context a lot of women have to deal with. Look I think Jlaw is not well spoken at all. She says a lot of dumb stuff and communicates best through writing BECAUSE she can edit it and other people can look over it for her too. Yeah sue me I think her team helped craft her essays but I think they work with her and don’t just do it for her. I also don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world because every writer edits.

      But in her essay unlike her last interview she’s pretty clear that she was mad at herself for not negotiating her pay as well as she could have. She was afraid of being seen as unlikeable. So the overall point of her essay she’s going to fight for herself even if it ends up being that she’s labeled difficult. She should and she can get away with it for a few years because of her box office performance. But she’s still a woman who will be labeled difficult and will have the added stress of having to be way better than her male colleagues in order to negotiate what is fair RELATIVE to her peers. So negotiating will still be harder. And she’s the lucky girl on top. All the women on the bottom are bullied way worse.

      The issue is that a lot of women feel that added pressure of having to fight for what’s fair and get criticized a lot for speaking up or being blunt or not being nice and having to deal with incredible sexism the entire way etc etc etc.

      • Kitten says:

        No no no. Doug is right, Korra. The problem isn’t a systemic issue where men have been paid more than women for literally centuries, it’s just that us dumb womenz are too scared to ask for more money!

        It has NOTHING to do with traditionally male-dominated, HIGH-PAYING fields like science and math being hostile environments for women. It has nothing to with sexism and discrimination that starts as young as pre-school, which ultimately prevents women from pursuing the education that these high-paying jobs necessitate. It has nothing to do with the fact that women often take time off to, you know, further the human race thus making it easy for employers to discriminate against us. It has NOTHING to do with the fact that historically, women weren’t “allowed” to work because we were supposed to be home watching the kids and cleaning the house. It has nothing to do with women taking lower-paying jobs like teaching or social work (because who the f*ck else will? Men?) It has nothing to with men simply supporting a patriarchal system by protecting other men or even flat-out thinking that men are more qualified or capable than women simply because of their gender. It’s really just as simple as what Doug said: women aren’t asking for enough money and men are! Women need to stop being cowards and be brave like da menz!!!

        WOW Doug figured it out, everyone! We can all go home now!

        (Please forgive the sarcasm but I couldn’t help myself ;) Sometimes the mansplanations are just too much for me)

        It’s also worth noting that AGENTS and managers that do the negotiating, not the actors themselves.

      • korra says:

        Even in your sarcasm you brought up all the points that are absolutely necessary and VITAL to this conversation and summed it up exactly. The issue is more complex than Doug’s superficial understanding of it.

    • pinetree13 says:

      UUUUUGGGGGHHHHHH I hate when people use this argument. It is just. not. true. YES many women do not negotiate and many women are less ambitious, but that is not ALL women nor even the majority.

      There have been a ton of studies that even when women negotiate the men get paid more. Even when women confidently pursue promotions…men get promoted more. It is not simply a case of women not trying or not being ambitious. Guess what? More women than men go to university now and the majority of women are VERY career ambitious. Yet, top level management and politics are STILL mostly men. To say the issue is a simple ‘women need to try harder/more’ is just not true. There is built in sexism in the system.

    • K2 says:

      Isn’t it strange, how all women everywhere don’t ask for what they’re worth? Presumably people of colour are similarly challenged, when achieving equal pay rates for equal work?

      It’s… almost as if there has to be some other explanation for it.

  16. KittyKat says:

    And can we stop calling ourselves “girls”? It infantilizes us and allows us not to be taken as seriously.