X-Files star Gillian Anderson recently discussed the gender pay gap, claiming she was only offered “half” the pay of costar David Duchovny for the show’s six-part reunion.
Anderson told The Daily Beast that when the show first premiered, she was told to literally stand behind Duchovny during scenes.
“I can only imagine that at the beginning, they wanted me to be the sidekick,” she said. “Or that, somehow, maybe it was enough of a change just to see a woman having this kind of intellectual repartee with a man on camera, and surely the audience couldn’t deal with actually seeing them walk side by side!”
“I have such a knee-jerk reaction to that stuff, a very short tolerance for that shit… I don’t know how long it lasted or if it changed because I eventually said, ‘Fuck no! No!’ I don’t remember somebody saying, ‘OK, now you get to walk alongside him.’ But I imagine it had more to do with my intolerance and spunk than it being an allowance that was made.”
Anderson says she faced the pay gap a second time when negotiating her pay for the series revival, which is debuting this month.
She claims she was offered “half” the pay of Duchovny.
“I’m surprised that more [interviewers] haven’t brought that up because it’s the truth,” Anderson says. “Especially in this climate of women talking about the reality of [unequal pay] in this business, I think it’s important that it gets heard and voiced. It was shocking to me, given all the work that I had done in the past to get us to be paid fairly. I worked really hard toward that and finally got somewhere with it.”
“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. It is sad.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Anderson and Duchovny were ultimately paid the same amount for the series return.