In further proof that Hollywood really doesn’t know the value of women, Ashton Kutcher’s pay on No Strings Attached, the 2011 friends-with-benefits rom-com that wasn’t Friends With Benefits, was three times more than Natalie Portman’s. “I knew and I went along with it because there’s this thing with ‘quotes’ in Hollywood,” Portman revealed to Marie Claire UK (via The Guardian) in an interview, pointing out that Kutcher’s quote was higher because of his projected worth. “His [quote] was three times higher than mine, so they said he should get three times more. I wasn’t as pissed as I should have been. I mean, we get paid a lot, so it’s hard to complain, but the disparity is crazy.” For comparison, by the time of No Strings Attached’s release, Natalie Portman had won an Oscar for Black Swan; Kutcher, meanwhile, was mostly known for That ‘70s Show, Punk’d, and being really into that new thing called Twitter.
Portman’s comments come after several high-profile actresses have gone on the record about pay disparities. The 2014 Sony hacks revealed that Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams made signficantly less than their male co-stars on American Hustle. Since then, Lawrence has discussed how she felt complicit in not negotiating for more pay, while Adams has encouraged reporters to put more pressure on asking producers about the gender pay gap. “Compared to men, in most professions, women make 80 cents to the dollar,” Portman pointed out in her interview. “In Hollywood, we are making 30 cents to the dollar.”
Update January 12: Kutcher has expressed his support for Portman in a tweet: