Equal Pay Scorecard – Spock: 5 Hawkeye: 0

 

Credit: On Flickr with Gage Skidmore available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial Share Alike license.
Credit: On Flickr with Gage Skidmore available under a Creative Commons Share Alike license.

It didn’t take a genius to figure out how to give women equal pay in Hollywood. It just took a Vulcan. It might not surprise you that women do not get equal pay compared to men. If you read the news today, you will see the issue is very much alive. Jennifer Lawrence’s letter caused some heads to turn when she became vocal about her not-so-equal pay on the film American Hustle. In response to that letter, her co-star, Bradley Cooper, went on record saying that he will work towards ways to get equal pay for his female co-stars. Everything looks great then? I mean if one of her co-stars is supporting the movement, the others will certainly follow, right? Well, no. Enter Jeremy Renner.

As Avengers/American Hustle star, Renner, stated┬áit isn’t “his job” to make sure his co-stars receive equal pay. In fact, he blames it on the co-star’s inability to negotiate terms, and everyone should get as much as they can. Wait. When he called Black Widow a slut, did he mean Hawkeye was a whore? Is Renner evil? Probably not. He just seems like the self-absorbed douche that we all know at work. You know, the one eating your lunch right now. Hey, it isn’t Louey’s “job” to make sure you eat your own lunch, right?

Mr. Spock’s Solution for Equal Pay

The villains and heroes are all set in this Hollywood remake of “equal pay.” But what if I told you that a long time ago someone in Hollywood already figured out how to get his female co-star equal pay? Not only could he get his co-stars equal pay with a word to a producer, but he even held out on roles and used his own money when needed to make sure his co-stars were treated fairly. According to Renner, that person would sound like an emotional fool. Imagine caring about someone that isn’t you? It’s unheard of! And yet, that is what Leonard Nimoy did. Yes, everyone’s favorite nigh-emotionless Vulcan solved equal pay for his co-stars over 50 years ago.

Credit: On Flickr with Gage Skidmore available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial Share Alike license.
Credit: On Flickr with Gage Skidmore available under a Creative Commons Share Alike license.

His solution to this (very much not a) Kobayashi Maru scenario was simple. If Nichelle Nichols didn’t receive equal pay then Star Trek could do without Spock. In fact, Nimoy would be the sole driving force to get George Takei and Nichols jobs doing voice work for the Star Trek cartoon show, a show the producers wanted to use in-house actors to replace any “non-trinity” actors.

 

Once again, Hollywood is shown to have a very short memory. Once again, the American public puts their head in the sand about inequality-not just for Hollywood actresses, but across the board. Equal pay isn’t just a “movie” thing. It’s an “every” thing. Maybe we should all take a page from a Vulcan and start thinking about how to make the world better for people other than ourselves. In that, maybe one day, we can all truly, “Live long and prosper.”

Credit: On Flickr with Gage Skidmore available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial Share Alike license.
Credit: On Flickr with Gage Skidmore available under a Creative Commons Share Alike license.
Jo Szewczyk is an American scholar who earned his PhD from Lancaster University in the UK. He is currently an ex-pat American living in Montreal, Canada where he spends his time with his cat, Chuck Finley.