Unequal Pay in the TV Industry

The gender pay gap is a huge issue in today’s society. For years now male workers have been paid more than women – this is a fact. We see this in how the average salary in the UK for men is £30,537, whereas women are paid just £25,158 per year. In the 21st century we value ourselves as a very progressive generation yet we still can’t close the pay gap. In April 2017 a statistic was released that the average man earned 18.4% more than women – this is disgraceful.

Recently, the hit TV series The Crown has faced some serious controversy on the subject of the gender pay gap. Claire Foy, who plays the main role (Queen Elizabeth II), is getting paid substantially lower than her co-actor Matt Smith, even though his role is less significant. Some say, it is because of his role in playing Doctor Who; others say it’s because of the fact he is male. So we ask, what’s your take on it?

We did some research and found lots of different viewpoints and opinions on the topic. Longsands PA Teacher Mr. Griffiths stated ‘the larger the star the more they get paid, as they are also paying for their following and their background experience.’ By this he means, to involve a famous personality in your production then you have to pay more. This is because of the fact that you are paying for all of their viewers, regardless of the actors’ gender. However one of our fellow students stated ‘it’s unfair and sexist, that the man is paid more than the woman.’ Their reasoning was as follows: he may have more experience; but she plays a bigger role and therefore works more hours. Thus meaning she should be paid more! Longsands Teacher Mr Walker expressed his opinion as ‘it doesn’t matter what gender they are as it should be the same amount of pay for the role, whether they are male or female.’ A Longsands Student added that ‘it’s not fair because she [Claire Foy] has a more important acting role.’

Personally we can understand that big stars cost lots of money and it’s difficult to get popular actors, but we also believe that it is important for males and females to have equal pay and it should be the same for both genders’ with the same role. Although if an actor has a bigger role then perhaps they should be paid more…

By Ben, Darcy, and Max (Year 8)

Entertainment Team

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