Robin Wright Threatened Her Way to Fair Pay on ‘House of Cards’

For some reason, we made it to 2016 with women still being paid 77 cents for every man’s dollar. Newsflash: we wouldn’t have made it to 2016 without women, it’s time we realized that and just try to give everyone the same even footing before they embark into this righteously unfair world. But because people are still having a difficult time understanding the worth of women in society, we’re still demanding it.

Netflix’s House of Cards stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are an unstoppable vehicle of the political machine and they both are essential to the plot. Wright understood this and demanded the same salary as Spacey for appearing in the series.

While stopping by Tuesday’s “Insight Dialogues” event at Rockefeller Center, Wright retold her fight for fair wages:

It was a perfect paradigm. There are very few films or TV shows where the male, the patriarch, and the matriarch are equal. And they are in ‘House of Cards.

And that’s a well-deserved assessment. There are times where the show is more about Claire Underwood than it is about its own narrator. Wright continued:

I was looking at statistics and Claire Underwood’s character was more popular than [Frank’s] for a period of time. So I capitalized on that moment. I was like, ‘You better pay me or I’m going to go public.

And that threat was enough. Scandals and feminist powerhouses don’t work out too well anymore. Huffington Post reports that before Wright demanded to be paid equally, she was making a significant amount less. About $80,000 per episode less.

Spacey was reportedly making $500,000 per episode for his work on the series back in 2014, before season 3 of the show debuted. At the time, insiders said that number might move up to $1 million, making him one of the highest-earning TV or streaming actors. Last year, Forbes reported that Wright made $5.5 million for her work on the show, which would be around $420,000 an episode.

Here’s to hoping Wright takes her powers of negotiation to furthering other women’s fair payment. Doing it for yourself is good, doing it for others is noble.

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8 years ago

You are worth whatever you can make for yourself or whatever you can get someone to pay you. If Robin Wright makes less than Kevin Spacey so be it. If she had the leverage to get paid equivalent to him, so be it as well. She is making 100 times as much as many of the crew on the series. Perhaps Bernie Sanders should step in and average out the pay of everybody working on the show.

8 years ago

Nice negotiation tactics, but that’s all it was. Supporting actors get paid less, that’s it. Could the show continue without Kevin Spacey? Unlikely. Could it continue without any of it’s supporting cast no matter how central they were to the shows dynamic? Probably. As for the 77 cents line in this piece… *facepalms* You can always spot token feminists who have never actually read a book on feminism in their life, cause this word-of-mouth rubbish is what they spout. Simple question: If you ran a business and could hire a woman to do exactly the same job as a man… Read more »