Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The seXism Files

Just another day in a woman who is equally or more competent than her male counterpart being offered half his pay.

Via The Daily Beast, Gillian Anderson makes some interesting revelations about her experience on The X Files:
"...[W]hile Scully asserted her authority at every turn, Anderson found herself fighting just to stand on (literal) equal ground with her male co-star. The studio initially required Anderson to stand a few feet behind her male partner on camera, careful never to step side-by-side with him. And it took three years before Anderson finally closed the wage gap between her pay and Duchovny’s, having become fed up with accepting less than 'equal pay for equal work.'
'I can only imagine that at the beginning, they wanted me to be the sidekick,' Anderson says of Fox’s curious no-equal-footing rule. 'Or that, somehow, maybe it was enough of a change just to see a woman having this kind of intellectual repartee with a man on camera, and surely the audience couldn’t deal with actually seeing them walk side by side!'”
Emphasis added because oh hail no what the ever-loving fuck?!

The Scully/Mulder dynamic worked because the two characters were, in many ways, complementary to one another. Duchovny, in my opinion, could not have carried X Files on his own - and, part and parcel of the show's popularity was the presence that Anderson in particular brought to Scully.

Scully was emphatically not, as her unequal pay would imply, Mulder's Little Helper.  Nor was Mulder by himself the main protagonist.

But then, it seems, the unequal pay shit just happened again, this time in relation to this year's reboot:
"The work Anderson put into securing equal pay back in the ’90s seemingly came undone when it came time to negotiate pay for this year’s event series. Once again, Anderson was being offered “half” of what they would pay Duchovny."
Reportedly, Anderson and Duchovny ended up taking home equal pay. But, still with respect to the offer, what do you even say, really?

I want to believe that Hollywood doesn't have a gender problem, but alas. In the year 20fucking16, it is well-established, at least among fandom, that Anderson/Scully is as much part of The X Files franchise as Duchovny/Mulder, and we still have studio execs who think they can get away with paying talented women less than their male counterparts - because they can often still get away with it.

Hollywood, get your fucking shit together.

And also, while you're at it, how about let Scully interact with other women sometimes. You know, since she basically interacted with three women ever over the course of 9 seasons.  #BechdelFail

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