Hollywood gender pay gap laid bare as rich list of stars is filled by men

Emma Stone (Ian West/PA)

Anita Singh

The Hollywood gender pay gap has been laid bare in figures that show highest-paid actress Emma Stone is out-earned by 14 male actors.

Stone earned $26m (€22m) in the year up to June 2017, due in part to the success of the hit musical 'La La Land'.

But she would only rank 15th in an overall table of Hollywood's - and Bollywood's - biggest earners.

A list of the highest-paid men, published today by 'Forbes' magazine, showed that she was paid less than Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, Adam Sandler, Jackie Chan, Robert Downey Jr, Tom Cruise, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hanks, Samuel L Jackson, and her 'La La Land' co-star Ryan Gosling. Wahlberg is the highest paid actor in the world, with 2016-17 earnings of $68m (€57m), followed closely by Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) on $65m (€55m).

Wahlberg topped the list thanks to soaring fees for films including 'Daddy's Home 2' and 'Transformers: The Last Knight', according to 'Forbes'. His earnings have doubled compared with the $30m (€25m) he made in 2016. The highest riser is Chris Hemsworth, whose earnings are up 250pc on the previous year due to the success of the Marvel movies.


Nineteen male stars earned $15m (€12m) or more in the past year - the names above plus Ryan Reynolds, Matt Damon, Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans and Chris Pratt.

Only five women made the same: Stone, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lawrence, Melissa McCarthy and Mila Kunis. Three of these actresses saw their earnings increase compared with 2016, including Stone, whose $26m (€22m) takings are more than double the $10m she made in 2016.

Stone has campaigned for equal pay, and said recently that her male co-stars have supported her.

"In my career so far, I've needed my male co-stars to take a pay cut so that I may have parity with them. And that's something they do for me because they feel it's what's right and fair.

"That's something that's also not discussed, necessarily: that our getting equal pay is going to require people to selflessly say, 'that's what's fair'. It's not about, 'women are this and men are that'. It is, 'we are all equal, we all deserve the same respect and the same rights.'"

The pay gap can be attributed to the dominance of action blockbusters and to a dearth of opportunities for older women. In the list of top 10 actresses, the oldest woman is Julia Roberts (49). All but three of the male top 10 are aged 50 or over.

Natalie Robehmed, 'Forbes' associate editor, said: "This pay disparity comes down to roles: in release schedules dominated by superhero movies and brawny blockbusters, there are fewer parts for women that pay the sizeable backend profits that result in leading men's large paydays, or the franchise sequels that permit aggressive negotiation for favourable deals

"According to a 2016 study, women comprise just 28.7pc of all speaking roles in movies and only a quarter of roles for characters over the age of 40 - an ageism and lack of opportunity not facing Hollywood's leading men. Until there are an equal number of high-paying roles, there will continue to be an inequality in the paychecks of Tinseltown's very richest."