The good news is, there’s a “Crazy Rich Asians” sequel in the works. The bad news is, gender pay gap issues are alive and well in the entertainment industry.
This week we heard one of the writers of the movie, Adele Lim, walked away from the sequel because of a pay disparity. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it’s a huge one too, with co-writer Peter Chiarelli offered at least (though unconfirmed) US$700,000 more. For doing the same job. Yikes.
In an industry where women made up just 15% of writers for the 100 top grossing films of 2018 – and the number of female, Asian writers is even smaller – can you imagine being in Adele Lim’s shoes for a moment?
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“Crazy Rich Asians” has undoubtedly been a ground-breaking movie in many ways. Not only has it been a box office smash (grossing nearly $238.5 million globally), but it’s also raised the profile of Asian talent across the world, smashing stereotypes and paving the way for more representation in the mainstream media.
So if after being part of one of the most significant movies of our time plus having written for numerous other programs doesn’t make you experienced enough to deserve equal pay, then what on earth will it take to get there?
What does Lim have to do, to get the equal pay she deserves?
She could’ve easily just gone with the lower pay because, well, who wouldn’t want to be part of the “Crazy Rich Asians” sequel? But she didn’t. She understood her own value. She stood her ground. And even when fellow writer Chiarelli offered to split his pay, she still walked away.
If any of us want to see actual change happen here, we need to keep talking about Adele Lim. And soccer star Megan Rapinoe who recently used her platform to call out unequal pay in sport. And all the other incredibly talented women who are feeling empowered to speak up right now.
Because maybe, just maybe, the more we talk about them, the more employers will realise how ridiculous it really is that women are not being paid equally.