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Westworld’s Evan Rachel Wood on finally getting equal pay: “It only took 25 years”

Reese Witherspoon convinced HBO to try to close its gender pay gap.

Constance Grady is a senior correspondent on the Culture team for Vox, where since 2016 she has covered books, publishing, gender, celebrity analysis, and theater.

Earlier this month, a spokesperson for HBO announced that the network was taking steps to close its gender wage gap. And now we know that HBO has put its money where its mouth is in at least one case. On Thursday night, Westworld’s Evan Rachel Wood told Jimmy Fallon she was finally earning equal pay. And judging from her interview, she’s both glad she’s finally got it and a little pissed off that it took this long.

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter at the beginning of April, HBO president of programming Casey Bloys explained that after a series of conversations with Big Little Lies star and producer Reese Witherspoon, “We’ve proactively gone through all of our shows — in fact, we just finished our process where we went through and made sure that there were no inappropriate disparities in pay; and where there were, if we found any, we corrected it going forward. And that’s is a direct result of the Times Up movement.” (You just know Reese went full Elle Woods on him.)

Bloys added that HBO’s initiative doesn’t mean that everyone will earn the exact same amount in an HBO show. “When you’re putting a show together, people come in with different levels of experience and maybe some people have won awards or something that makes them stand out,” he said.

“But when you get into season two or three of a show and the show is a success, it is much harder to justify paying people wildly disparate numbers, and that’s where you have to make sure that you’re looking at the numbers — that they don’t end up just on the path they were on from the pilot stage.”

In an April 16 interview with the Wrap, Evan Rachel Wood — who has been active in the Time’s Up movement and the fight for victim’s rights — confirmed that she was finally getting equal pay.

“I was just told that, you know, ‘Hey you’re, you’re getting equal pay.’ And I was like [gasp]. And I almost got emotional,” Wood said. “I was like, ‘I have never been paid the same as my male counterparts … Never, never.’”

Wood may have been tear-struck when she first learned that she was finally getting equal pay, but on The Tonight Show on Thursday night, she didn’t seem thrilled that it took so long to get there.

“I’ve been an actor since I was a kid,” she said, “so it only took 25 years.”

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