Hollywood stars of both genders have spoken out against harassment and unequal pay in the film industry. Natalie Portman recently claimed Hollywood is more sexist now than it was during the 1960’s. Chris Evans, the star from the Captain America series and Snowpiercer, admitted during an interview that Hollywood has a ubiquitous gender wage gap. It would appear workplace gender discrimination is a pervasive issue for women working in Hollywood.
Mila Kunis recently penned an editorial for A plus, a magazine owned by Ashton Kutcher. Kunis, a movie producer, actress and voice actress, has worked in the television and film industry for many years. When someone with extensive experience in an industry starts pointing out problems, it is best to listen.
According to Kunis, a producer once told her that she would never work in Hollywood again if she refused to pose semi-nude for a men’s magazine. Kunis told the producer “no” and moved on with her career. The producer was wrong, and Kunis later developed a production company with three other women. Despite creating a production company, Kunis claims she has still experienced harassment from network executives.
In her editorial, Kunis also cited a popular statistic from the American Association of University Women, which claims that at the current rate, the gender wage gap will not be closed for another 136 years.
Can Women Legally Protect Themselves from Workplace Gender Discrimination?
California recently passed some of the strictest equal pay laws in the nation. This year, the California Fair Pay Act went into effect. The law requires employers to pay workers with substantially similar job responsibilities equal pay, regardless of gender and even if they hold different titles.
Employers may also run afoul of the law when they make employment decisions based on the gender of workers. Harassment against workers of a specific gender (both male and female) may be illegal under California and federal laws.
Workers experiencing gender discrimination can contact an employment law attorney to discuss available legal options. In most cases, the more evidence workers have of wrongdoing, the more likely they are to be successful holding their employers accountable.