Charlize Theron Asks for Equal Pay, Gets $10M

What would you do if you found out you were being paid less than a coworker for almost the same work? If you’re movie star Charlize Theron, you ask for a raise — and end up making more than $10 million.

Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth are both leads in Sony Picture’s upcoming film, “The Huntsman,” a follow up to the 2012 hit move “Snow White and the Huntsman.” Slated for a 2016 release, “The Huntsman” is still in production, but these two lead actors have signed on to reprise their roles. Charlize Theron will play Ravenna, the evil and vain queen, while Chris Hemsworth will return as the huntsman.

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Sony Pictures Leak Revealed Theron Paid Less Than Costar Chris Hemsworth

Theron’s and Hemsworth’s contracts for the film, including pay, had already been drafted and were leaked in the major Sony Pictures hack. It turned out that Theron was getting paid less than coworker Hemsworth, who had a deal worth more than $10 million for the film, despite the fact that both actors are set to play leading roles.

When Theron found out about the mismatched paychecks, she took the issue to Sony Pictures and demanded to be paid the same amount as costar Chris Hemsworth, reports Page Six. Through her agents, Theron was able to negotiate a raise and secured a compensation package equal to Hemsworth’s, which is worth just over $10 million.

The pay discrepancy definitely warranted a conversation on Theron’s part, and we’re glad Sony Pictures stepped up and offered her more. But why did her costar Chris Hemsworth get a bigger paycheck to begin with?

Gender Pay Gap Blamed for Theron’s Smaller Paycheck

The gender pay gap has been blamed for the pay discrepancy between Theron and Hemsworth. The Sony Pictures hack revealed that the studio has paid actresses less than actors, even in leading roles, in several recent films. Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence both made less than costars Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale in “American Hustle,” reports New York Magazine.

Hemsworth could also have been offered more because his stardom has grown considerably since the filming and release of “Snow White and the Huntsman,” with his iconic turn as Thor in three movies, including the mega-hit “The Avengers.” Due to his growing popularity, Hemsworth was likely able to command a higher paycheck with “The Huntsman” than when he signed on for the first film.

But Theron, on the other hand, has years of acting experience and an illustrious career to back her. She’s starred in a range of films from blockbusters to art-house indie flicks, and even won an Oscar and Golden Globe in 2004 for her role in “Monster.” It seems crazy that Sony could have valued her work as less valuable by $10 million.

Sony Pictures apparently came around and agreed that Theron should be making as much as her costar, because she’s now making approximately what Hemsworth will earn.