Today in sexist news: Actress Gillian Anderson says she was offered half the money David Duchovny was offered to appear in Fox's X-Files revival (premiering Sunday, January 24).
Anderson first talked about the revival's pay discrepancy in the Hollywood Reporter's January 7 oral history of The X-Files, saying that negotiations were delayed on her end because "as usual, they come to me with half of what they want to offer David."
As she explains (and had explained before), it took years for Anderson to earn equal pay to Duchovny for the original X-Files — which is a little less surprising when you remember that Fox initially wouldn't even let her walk alongside him, lest she bypass spunky sidekick status. Anderson told the Telegraph in 2009:
...the way we were directed by the studios, I was to walk behind him, never side by side. I mean, that is f---ing priceless when I think about it now. When we would get out the car and walk towards the house I would have to be behind him, even though I had equal dialogue.
Then, talking with the Daily Beast in an interview published January 22, Anderson expressed her frustration that she encountered a huge pay disparity — again — as negotiations for the new episodes began in 2015. "It was shocking to me, given all the work that I had done in the past to get us to be paid fairly," Anderson said. "I worked really hard toward that and finally got somewhere with it."
The more things change, et cetera and so on.
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. It is…sad.
And it is sad. It's sad that Anderson, a highly accomplished actress who was one half of one of television's most beloved duos, still had to fight to be paid the same as her partner in onscreen crime(solving). It's sad that Fox apparently didn't think offering equal pay was right or, at the very least, a savvy business decision when trying to revive a cult classic for a ravenous audience.
Most of all, it's sad that Anderson wasn't surprised.
While the Hollywood Reporter stated that "sources" have said Anderson and Duchovny ultimately "received equal pay for the event series," getting to that point was clearly a battle — and one Anderson shouldn't have had to fight.