The X-Files may be back with impressively high ratings, but that's not the only thing the beloved sci-fi show is repeating with its new event series.
Gillian Anderson spoke to The Daily Beast about bringing back the brilliant Agent Scully, a character who has proved to be one of the most memorable and implacable women ever to be feature on the small screen. She talks about how in the early days of the show, she was instructed to never walk side-by-side with her co-star David Duchovny, only behind him. That clear disparity played out in their paychecks too, and it took three years and an eventual Emmy win before the two leads made the same amount of money.
We'd like to think that the wage-gap conversation is a unfortunate vestige of the past, but, as Anderson confirms, that simply isn't true. In fact, the actress admits that despite being one of the key factors in the show's success, she was only offered half of Duchovny's salary for the recent revival.
She's openly speaking out about how nothing has changed
Now that she has enough clout in the industry—and because there simply couldn't be the same kind of X-Files without the unsinkable Agent Scully—Anderson has no qualms about speaking out on the absurdity of this situation.
"I’m surprised that more [interviewers] haven’t brought that up because it’s the truth. Especially in this climate of women talking about the reality of [unequal pay] in this business, I think it’s important that it gets heard and voiced. It was shocking to me, given all the work that I had done in the past to get us to be paid fairly. I worked really hard toward that and finally got somewhere with it.
It must be infuriating to take one difficult step forward only to be set back by the same Hollywood powers that be. Anderson's situation speaks to the myth of progress, or the false feeling that society is constantly moving forward when there are always regressive forces at work.
In true Scully fashion, Gillian Anderson did not take this issue lying down
Once she got over the initial shock, Anderson began speaking out about the unfair treatment.
"Even in interviews in the last few years, people have said to me, 'I can’t believe that happened, how did you feel about it, that is insane.' And my response always was, 'That was then, this is now.' And then it happened again! I don’t even know what to say about it."
Eventually, through further negotiations, Anderson and Duchovny were allegedly paid the same wage for the event series, which makes sense for the two undeniable leads. I want to believe that Hollywood's sexism is a thing of fiction, but Anderson's story proves there's still a lot of work to do.
(Source: The Daily Beast)