Forever vigilant for the slightest deviation from their narrative and manically convinced that the only way for women to get raises is for sex collectivism and government intervention, Jezebel, New York Magazine, and others recently rained hellfire on actor Jeremy Renner for an innocuous statement about having made more money than Jennifer Lawrence for “American Hustle.” This debate will only get more intense as Hollywood looks to promote “Suffragette” in the coming months.
“Suffragette” actresses are already beating the equal-pay drums, with Carey Mulligan telling CNN, “If we’re going to talk about the pay gap in Hollywood, it has to have a wider impact, it has to be about the rest of society. It can’t just be about actors and actresses. It needs to be about how women are paid in the boardroom.”
Renner’s follow-up to his own kerfuffle highlights two things that would do more to close the wage gap than complaining in Lena Dunham’s newsletter, as Lawrence did.
Unlike Bradley Cooper, the fellow costar who rushed in to help the damsel in distress by saying he’d work with female costars to help them negotiate better, Renner told Business Insider that helping other actors negotiate contracts “is not my job.” “I don’t know contracts and money and all that sort of stuff,” he continued. Indeed, typically actors hire agents and lawyers to handle that part of their business.
While fairly noting that women can shortchange themselves in negotiations, Lawrence would be better served by hiring some better staff. Same for Amy Adams, who made out the worst on “American Hustle.”
Either Pay Rewards Ability or Special Pleading
Adding he fully supports equal pay for actresses and actors, Renner said he’s more focused on his craft than everyone else’s salaries: “I’m a performer and I know human behavior. When it comes to that sort of stuff I let other people deal with that. I do what I’m good at.”
This is why many women struggle to embrace the feminist label despite being passionate about judging people on the content of their character, not the content of their pants. Feminists are poor judges of character. Compare Cooper and Renner. If I were still on the market and playing the game of “who’d I rather,” Renner’s response would put him way ahead
Unlike Cooper, Renner isn’t going to tell you what you want to hear. He’s going to treat you like an equal, while Cooper likely uses negging to get ladies. If Cooper really feels so bad about Adams’s “American Hustle” salary, he’d act like Jack Nicholson did for Diane Keaton with “Something’s Got to Give.” Until then, he’s just telling the ladies what they want to hear.
It’s a disappointment the next paragraph isn’t about how Keaton fired whoever negotiated her deal.
Don’t Listen to a Suck-Up
Feminists always complain about men, but it’s pretty clear why: They always pick the wrong men. The clear winner here is Renner. The guy who will tell you where you stand and why is going to be the guy who doesn’t string you along till you’ve wasted years in a dead-end relationship.
Feminists’ insipid need for approval teaches women the exactly wrong lessons about life. The person who tells you what you want to hear isn’t the person to trust. The person who shrugs and judges you fairly instead of assuming you need assistance because of your sex is also the one who will pay you what you are worth. To achieve equality, women need to be grateful when men treat us as equals. Renner did exactly that, and it lead to outrage.
As Renner said, “A person should be rewarded only by their merit or service to their given field. Gender, race, creed, or sexual orientation should have absolutely no influence in pay, positively or negatively.” Renner is right. People should be paid based on merit. If women in Hollywood want to get paid better, they should try hiring Renner or Cooper’s agents, lawyers, and other negotiators. Those are the people nabbing big paydays.
Ladies, go hire some sharks like your male co-stars do if you want to shake up Hollywood. Don’t expect Bradley Cooper to come to your rescue. He’s a guy who plays pretend for a living, not someone who knows how to drive a hard bargain.