Gwyneth Paltrow is adding her name to the growing list of female (and many male) actors who are appalled with the substantial gender pay gap in Hollywood. The 43-year-old Mortdecai actor and Goop founder hit back at the film industry for its inequality and sexism during a recent interview. She also used one very prominent example to prove her point.

Gwyneth PaltrowGwyneth Paltrow at Tom Ford's Autumn/Winter Womenswear Collection Presentation in L.A., February 2015.

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Paltrow’s criticism focussed on Robert Downey Jr.’s pay for the past year. Paltrow stars as Pepper Potts opposite Downey in the Iron Man and Avengers films, the pay from which largely contributed to Downey being named the highest paid actor in the world by Forbes in 2015. Downey raked in $80 million between August 2014 and August 2015. 

“Look, nobody is worth the money that Robert Downey Jr. is worth,” Paltrow told Variety whilst referencing the Iron Man films. “But if I told you the disparity, you would probably be surprised.”

Paltrow also explained how it was her father, the late television director Bruce Paltrow, who first pointed out to her that there were discrepancies between his daughter’s pay and that of the male actors she starred opposite. Incredibly, Paltrow’s unnamed but inexperienced co-star was paid the same as Paltrow at a time when she had proven herself as an actor in the industry.

“It can be frustrating,” Paltrow continued. “It can be painful. Your salary is a way to quantify what you’re worth. If men are being paid a lot more for doing the same thing, it feels sh**ty.”

Forbes’ annual list of the World’s highest paid male and female actors has shown disparity between their pay for many years. However, it’s only within the past few years that the issue has been raised with more frequency and with greater publicity. A few examples include the Sony hacks last year which revealed Jennifer Lawrence’s pay for American Hustle was lower than her male co-stars, Patricia Arquette calling for change during her acceptance speech at the Oscars in 2015, and Amanda Seyfried being upfront about receiving only 10% of what her male co-stars are paid (via THR).

The Forbes lists for this year show the serious discrepancies between the pay of male and female actors. As it turns out, the annual take home for female actors did not even come close, despite their starring roles in similar high-profile roles and blockbuster films, to what their male counterparts received. 

Jennifer Lawrence was named the highest paid female actor with $52 million which is still substantially less (-$18 million) than her counterpart at the top of the male list, Downey. Taking the top ten of both lists into account, the top ten male actors made 119% more than the top ten female actors. Furthermore, the collective earnings of the top ten male actors were $431 million compared to the collective earnings of the top ten female actors with $197 million.

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