Many celebrities have spoken out about pay discrimination in Hollywood, and Carrie Preston, star of NBC’s new comedy Crowded, now joins their ranks.
“I was on a TV show and found out in the final season that I had been making a good deal less than a male actor who had a comparable size role as me,” Preston told Motto. “So for my next TV deal, I requested equal pay. I was told I got it, only to find out my male costar still got extra perks that I didn’t.” Preston declined to say which shows paid her less.
Preston said that there isn’t much an actress can do if she finds out about pay inequality after signing a contract. “Unfortunately, actors’ salaries get set before work commences, even before the final audition in a lot of cases,” she said. “If it is a series, we sign a five- to seven-year deal. Those get renegotiated down the line if the show is a hit, but otherwise we have to be content with the initial deal. It is very hard to fight it.”
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The fact that people so rarely share their salaries doesn’t help. “It’s hard to know the truth,” she said. “I think transparency is the only way. … Many people would not like it, but it would help force employers to be more fair.”