Female writers, producers and wizards on Twitter have turned the #NotWorthLess hashtag on Wednesday into a trend that sheds light on the problems of pay inequality in the entertainment industry. Scriptwriter Adele Lim has recently decided to abandon the sequel to "Crazy Rich Asians" because she pays less than her male co-author. Dozens of authors have shared their own pay inequity stories. Two of these authors talked in detail with Variety about their experiences.
Ashley Gable was co-executive producer and then executive producer of CBS & # 39; The Mentalist, produced by Warner Bros. Television. For four years between 2008 and 2012. When her three-year contract came to an end, she earned $ 25,000 per episode. Then she found that she was paid about two-thirds of the $ 40,000 per episode earned by her male counterparts, each of whom had joined the series after her.
She negotiated up to $ 30,000 per episode, which she said the studio called "an oversized raise," but exceeded the upper limit for conversations.
Warner Bros.'s last offer was "Thirty and Thankful," Gable said Variety . "I took it and was angry." She stayed for another year and then left.
Gable, whose long list of credits includes "Magnum PI," "Designated Survivor," and "Bull," said she bears no blame about her co-authors and producers, but about the studio. Warner Bros. was not immediately available for comment.
"They're great," Gable said about her male colleagues on the show. "They earn every penny they receive, but I was great and deserved the same."
"Bruno Heller is a wonderful person and I owe him a lot," said Gable of "The Mentalist" showrunner who describe her decision to be creatively separated from him as consensual. She says the salary issue was a factor in her dissatisfaction on the show and prompted her to quit.
"These are our employers who do this," she said. "These are not authors who deal with other authors. It is the studio's responsibility to pay people fairly and to pay women as well as men.
Sarah Watson ("The Bold Guy", "Parenting"), Minhal Baig ("Hala", "Ramy") and Lilla Zuckerman ("Agents of Shield") are just a few of the other authors, who have reported on Twitter to talk about their experiences of differences between hiring and salary practices between men and women in Hollywood.
Patricia Carr, whose credits are "Reign", "Beauty and the Beast", "90210" and other series that met with CBS Studios in 2018 to discuss a position on "NCIS: New Orleans."
"My position was simple: I worked for CBS Television Studios in various shows, including Showrunner for They, "said Carr Variety ." They definitely knew who I was, I knew what they could afford, I knew the show deserved to make money, and what I demanded was not a top dollar for the position they offered me, but for what I f r held a fair compensation, based on what they had paid me in the past. "
That involved a 3% increase -" just so they do not let inflation lose my paycheck, "Carr said. CBS countered with a final offer that was 25% below its desired value. She refused the offer.
CBS Television Studios declined to comment. Sources familiar with the negotiations say that the offer to Carr took into account the idea that she now wanted to be recruited as a solo producer after having been part of a writing team for years. Writing teams need to effectively split an author's salary.
Carr anticipated this argument, saying that it was easy "to be haunted by an early [salary] quote".
Instead, the series featured a white, male writer who had less experience, but given him a higher title and paid him more than she wanted. Adam Targum took her place in the writers' room.
"I was told by the people who worked on the show that it was a considerable amount more money than I requested," Carr said.
Targum was let go in January after the subject of an HR complaint. According to his sources, his "NCIS: New Orleans" salary directly reflects previous experience as a showrunner.
However, some authors believe that the deck is stacked against them when negotiations are based on past salaries based on initial salaries low salaries support numbers.
"I've heard these things over the years," Carr said, summing up Lim's experience of "Crazy Rich Asians" negotiations.
"I've worked with Adele in the past, so I knew her." said Carr. "I knew the quality of their work. I was very confident in what her contribution had been. So it just seemed like a very factual situation. She was honest to share that publicly, and that's really important, and it inspired me and made me feel like: if we all have the opportunity, there's definitely a story, and there's a story we need to share with each other ,
Like Gable, Carr has no hostility towards the other writers involved, including the writer who was hired after she had turned down CBS's offer.
"The only potential villain in this story is CBS Studios," Carr said, adding that "if no one pushes these things back, then it's really hard for someone to push those things back. "