In their continuing efforts to ignore the real problems plaguing women worldwide, Internet feminists have set their sights on the latest injustice to women: Harrison Ford was paid 76 times more than Daisy Ridley for their respective roles in the latest Star Wars movie.
Yes. Forget honor killings, genital mutilation, forced abortions, and other legitimate horrors women face. The real issue is that seasoned pros get paid less than newcomers. Instead of rewarding people for their box-office draw, the playing field should be devoid of acknowledgement for irreplaceable stars.
Let’s be real. Harrison Ford is Han Solo. Star Wars successfully rebooted by pulling in the characters we all know and love and by staying far from those we don’t. I’m not the only one deeply relieved that Jar Jar didn’t make an appearance in “The Force Awakens.”
Star Wars Is a Big Break for Ridley
Nostalgia aside, the franchise also has, from the beginning, given new faces a chance to shine. In this case, those new faces include Ridley, and this has given her the opportunity to join a beloved galaxy. It’s also going to give her the opportunity to leverage this role for more pay in the future as she becomes recognizable and a household name. The millions of dollars successful Hollywood stars bring in is far beyond the reach of what most of us will earn in our lives.
This doesn’t mean there isn’t a pay differential between men and women in Hollywood, because there certainly is. Nicole Russell covered this earlier in regards to Jennifer Lawrence’s words on the Hollywood pay gap:“It’s ironic that a place that touts equality in so many areas, especially regarding same-sex and transgender issues, fails to honor the women in their field with equal pay, like the rest of the country’s workforce does.”
Star Wars offers us the unknown. More than just the plot lines of space travel, the Force, fantastical weapons, and complex villains, the franchise has given us new actors and actresses. George Lucas began this trend with “A New Hope” and J.J. Abrams followed suit with “The Force Awakens.”
Dominic Monaghan, famous from his part in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, said, “We’ve talked a few times about it and [Abrams] said ‘We’re putting together a cast of unknowns – we want to follow the ’77 New Hope cast,’ because obviously Harrison Ford wasn’t well-known at that point, Mark Hamill wasn’t and Carrie Fisher wasn’t either. What he said was, ‘We don’t want to fall into that mistake of people going “Oh it’s that guy from that thing!” and then you’re completely out of the Star Wars universe.’”
Harrison Ford Has More than Male Body Parts on His Resume
So no. Ridley wasn’t paid equally to Ford. We should celebrate that, instead of pulling from the same well-known pool of young Hollywood, Star Wars has again given us fresh talent. In turn, these actors and actresses have a chance to build a name.
True equality is demanding that Ridley earns the recognition and earning power of her more seasoned co-stars. “Leveling the playing field” into ignoring Ford’s prolific and successful career doesn’t help Ridley or women in Hollywood. It treats them as children, unable to earn their own way.
To act like young women are incapable is the real gender gap.