Gillian Anderson Was Offered Half Her Co-Star's Pay for 'The X-Files' Revival

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Fans of the hit '90s TV show The X-Files, who rejoiced after learning a revival was in the works, are likely excitedly gearing up for the reboot's Sunday premiere. But their enthusiasm might be dampened by news of the sexist treatment star Gillian Anderson faced on set, the details of which she explained to the Daily Beast on Friday.

Although the award-winning actress was ultimately paid the same as her co-star, she disclosed to the Hollywood Reporter that she was initially offered half. The lack of media buzz about this wage gap, she told the Daily Beast, was "shocking to me, given all the work that I had done in the past to get us to be paid fairly."

Anderson — who wasn't paid the same amount as her co-star, David Duchovny, until a few years into the series — fought for equal treatment years ago, according to the Daily Beast. To add insult to injury, the actress was also initially required to "stand a few feet behind" Duchovny and never "step side-by-side with him," according to the same report.  

"I can only imagine that at the beginning, they wanted me to be the sidekick," she told the Daily Beast. "I don't know how long it lasted or if it changed because I eventually said, 'Fuck no! No!' ... But I imagine it had more to do with my intolerance and spunk than it being an allowance that was made." 

Anderson is hardly the first actress to speak out about the entertainment industry's inequitable treatment of actresses. Patricia ArquetteReese Witherspoon and others have spoken out about Hollywood's wage gap, and the numbers back them up. While the 10 highest-paid movie actors made $431 million in 2015, the 10 highest-paid actresses made about half, at $218 million, Variety reported in November.

Source: Omar Vega/AP

The problem extends well beyond Hollywood too. In 2014 full-time female workers in the United States made 79 cents for every dollar their male counterparts made — a gap that is significantly worse for women of color and mothers, according to the American Association of University Women. A 2015 study revealed that at the current pace, this gap likely won't close until 2058.

That Anderson was ultimately paid the same as her male counterpart underscores the importance of other actresses speaking out about the issue until equality is the norm.

h/t Daily Beast

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Julie Zeilinger

Julie Zeilinger is a staff writer at Mic as well as the founder and editor of The FBomb (thefbomb.org), a feminist blog partnered with the Women’s Media Center. She is also the author of "A Little F’d Up: Why Feminism Is Not A Dirty Word" and "College 101: A Girl’s Guide to Freshman Year."

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