Robin Wright, who plays matriarch Claire Underwood in House of Cards, has recently revealed that she had to demand the same pay as co-star Kevin Spacey in an interview with Judith Rodin, the president of The Rockefeller Foundation in New York.
While Spacey was earning $500,000 an episode in 2014 for House of Cards, Wright was only earning $420,000. She felt that this was unfair, particularly due to how popular her character was on the show compared to Spacey’s.
“I was like, ‘I want to be paid the same as Kevin,’” said Wright. “It was the perfect paradigm. There are very few films or TV shows where the male, the patriarch, and the matriarch are equal. And they are in House of Cards.
“I was looking at the statistics and Claire Underwood’s character was more popular than [Frank’s] for a period of time. So I capitalized on it. I was like, ‘You better pay me or I’m going to go public,’” Wright said. “And they did.”
This has been a contentious topic of conversation recently, with Jennifer Lawrence also lending her voice to the issue by penning a fiery essay for Lena Dunham‘s Lenny Letter on earning less than her male co-stars in American Hustle.
While these female stars are already earning big bucks, the fact of the matter is that they are not being paid equally to their male co-stars. And it’s about time that changed.