Fox Tried To Pay Gillian Anderson Half Of What They Offered Her Male Co-Star

The X-Files star is speaking out about the gender pay gap in Hollywood, and the experiences she's sharing will make your blood boil.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

Just in case you were wondering: the fight for equal pay in just about every arena is still raging on. During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, X-Files star Gillian Anderson shared that, initially, the network offered her only half of what they offered her co-star, David Duchovny, to come back and film the upcoming 6-episode event series.

"There's no point in dealing with my side [first], because, as usual, they come to me with half of what they want to offer David," she said.

It's 2016, and this is actually still happening. If there was any show that wouldn't work without both leads, it's this one. Mulder and Scully are a package deal, and always have been, so to offer Anderson half of what they offered David Duchovny is just shameless, blatant sexism.

As if that wasn't bad enough, in the beginning, the studio required her to stand a few feet behind him on camera. Anderson revealed in an interview with The Daily Beast that she was instructed not to stand side-by-side with him while on camera. It's not the least bit surprising, then, that Anderson starred on the show for three years before Fox finally gave her the same pay as her male co-star.

"I can only imagine that at the beginning, they wanted me to be the sidekick, Anderson said. "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."

But isn't that how sexism survives? In the small, poisonous little details?

"I have such a knee-jerk reaction to that stuff, a very short tolerance for that s***," she continued. "I don't know how long it lasted or if it changed because I eventually said, ‘F*** no! No!' I don't remember somebody saying, 'Okay, now you get to walk alongside him.' But I imagine it had more to do with my intolerance and spunk than it being an allowance that was made."

Having to fight just to present yourself as an equal on screen? If that isn't a crying shame, I don't know what is. The next time someone tells you that you're reading too much into the representation of women on film, just point them here.

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