Olivia Colman
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Olivia Colman spoke candidly about the current pay gap in Hollywood, saying that she would earn much more if she were a man.

“Don’t get me started on the pay disparity, but male actors get paid more because they used to say they drew in the audiences,” Colman, 50, said during a Saturday, March 23, appearance on CNN’s The Amanpour Hour. “And actually, that hasn’t been true for decades but they still like to use that as a reason to not pay women as much as their male counterparts.”

She added, “Research suggests that [women] were always big box office draws.”

Host Christiane Amanpour asked Colman if the wage gap was still relevant to her as an Oscar-winning actress. “I’m very aware that if I was Oliver Colman, I’d be earning a f–k of a lot more than I am,” The Crown actress replied. “I know of one pay disparity, which is a 12,000 percent difference.”

Colman won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2019 for her role in The Favourite, and she has starred in many other projects across film and television, including Heartstopper, Fleabag, The Crown and this month’s Wicked Little Letters (in theaters March 29).

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Colman’s statement comes months after Taraji P. Henson admitted that she almost passed on The Color Purple due to a pay disparity.

Olivia Colman Says If She Was ‘Oliver Colman’ She’d Be Earning ‘A F–k Of a Lot More’

Olivia Colman
Hoda Davaine/Dave Benett/WireImage

“I almost had to walk away from The Color Purple,” Henson, 53, said in December 2023 during an interview for the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. “Yes, ma’am. … If I don’t take a stand, how am I making it easy for Fantasia [Barrino] and Danielle [Brooks] and Halle [Bailey] and Phylicia [Pearl Mpasi]? Why am I doing this, if it’s all just for me?”

The Color Purple was released in 2023, but Henson said at the time she hadn’t received a “raise” since she starred in 2018’s Proud Mary. “I’m getting really tired of Black women having the same story, it’s breaking my heart,” she said. “It’s like every time you achieve something really incredible, it’s almost like the industry looks at it like a fluke.”

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Henson and Colman are two of many actresses who have previously addressed their fight to close the gender pay gap in Hollywood.

In 2018, Michelle Williams was pulled into the spotlight of this issue when it was revealed that she was paid less than $1,000 for All the Money in the World reshoots while, comparatively, her costar Mark Wahlberg was paid $1.5 million. (Wahlberg later donated the $1.5 million to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund in Williams’ name.)

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