In an interview with Harper's Bazaar, actress Sophie Turner, who has played Sansa Stark on HBO's Game of Thrones since the show's 2011 debut, notes that she demands an inclusion rider in all her contracts, which allows her to enforce a 50:50 male/female workforce.
But ensuring equal pay, she notes, is much harder.
The gender wage gap, always a sensitive issue, has been the subject of significant ire in recent years thanks to more women who've spoken out.
But Turner says she's fine with the fact that her co-star, Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow on the program, makes more money than she does:
Kit got more money than me, but he had a bigger storyline. And for the last series, he had something crazy like 70 night shoots, and I didn't have that many. I was like, 'You know what... you keep that money.'"
That people are having these conversations is more important, she told the publication, observing that executives are "more willing to listen to people saying, 'I want the same amount of money.' So things are getting done, but it will take a while, I think..."
The actress also addressed questions on the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements:
"I've had moments where I've thought in hindsight, 'That was not an OK thing for someone to do,' but I've never had anything as extreme as these awful Weinstein cases. Almost half the people you meet in the industry have some sort of tale to tell. We'd talk about it before, but no one was saying, 'This is weird, someone should speak up.' People had this idea about Hollywood that it's big and glamorous and crazy things happen and,'That's showbiz, baby.' Until suddenly people started looking at it from a more humane point of view and saying, 'It's not OK. It's abuse'."
Turner's comments have been met with a certain understanding:
People seem to not understand that what you get paid in film is all about your negotiating power. If Sophie Turner wanted more money then it would come down to negotiation. She clearly negotiated to a satisfying result this is not sexism.
It's cool that they recognize that some actors/actresses do deserve to be payed more if it was required that they'd spend more time on set and had more work. That's fair and has nothing to do with gender. In fact, HBO has been pretty consistent and fair on that department.
I don't see why there's a problem with different actors/actresses being paid different amounts. Some will depend on their original contracts, some will depend on their experience and suitability for the role, but most will surely depend on the time taken for filming and some of Kit's stuff has been quite brutal and it seems that his S8 is the same.
@JustJared She’s exactly right. She’s not a lead and the work is not comparable. Now, if Emilia Clarke’s pay was ma… https://t.co/ri6ZdcPgFB— Nicki (@Nicki) 1554126069.0
@etnow To be fair, when his character died I almost stopped watching. Just my two cents. Again, money brought in, v… https://t.co/chhMdjJLM9— Daniel Sugimoto (@Daniel Sugimoto) 1554185165.0
It's unclear whether Turner has always been paid less than Harington or if she was referring to a previous time during the show's run.
The show returns April 14, and all bets are off regarding who lives or dies: Could Sansa Stark kick the bucket sooner than expected?
The evolution of the character during Season 7 has left fans certain that she's bound to have a crucial role in the show's final season.
sophie really went from lying in bed at night crying over sansa’s trials and tribulations to hanging the storyboard… https://t.co/WmeIP7yZfw— kirstin (@kirstin) 1553608620.0
sansa really told ramsay's crazy murderous girlfriend right after being threatened: "I'm Sansa Stark of Winterfell.… https://t.co/Uwsf9PVJeP— khaleesi (@khaleesi) 1553527187.0
sansa stark comes back to me in two weeks https://t.co/nO21HXnbkQ— lily day | ella (@lily day | ella) 1553992445.0
Only time will tell.