In an interview with the Daily Beast, The X-Files star Gillian Anderson discussed how she was originally only offered half of what the studio agreed to pay her co-star David Duchovny for the show's revival.
In the interview, the Emmy-winning actress talked more about the previously reported fact that she was offered only half the pay of her onscreen partner. (She lobbied for and received equal pay, but it's unfair to even offer less pay for basically equal parts).
"It was shocking to me, given all the work that I had done in the past to get us to be paid fairly. I worked really hard toward that and finally got somewhere with it," she told the Daily Beast.
"Even in interviews in the last few years, people have said to me, 'I can't believe that happened, how did you feel about it, that is insane,'" She said. "And my response always was, 'That was then, this is now.' And then it happened again! I don't even know what to say about it."
When she was cast back in the early '90s, she was considerably less experienced than Duchovny, and she suspects that the character of Agent Dana Scully was originally conceived as more of a sidekick to Duchovny's Fox Mulder. She was even required to stand behind Duchovny in shots. But as she became an equal partner in the success of the show, she began to stand beside him and renegotiated her contract to be paid fairly. Duchovny is still top-billed on the show, but Anderson is his equal in terms of screen time and importance to the show.
Equal pay for equal work has been a hot-button issue in Hollywood of late, with Jennifer Lawrence publishing an essay on the topic in October. Anderson is yet another story of how Hollywood mistreats women.
"Especially in this climate of women talking about the reality of [unequal pay] in this business, I think it's important that it gets heard and voiced," she told the Daily Beast.
The X-Files airs Sunday at 10/9c and Monday at 8/7c on Fox.