X-Files star Gillian Anderson has spoken about the gender pay gap, saying she was offered “half” the pay of David Duchovny for the show’s revival.
Anderson first stepped out on screen as Agent Dana Scully in the X-Files in September 1993.
Speaking in a recent interview with the Daily Beast, Anderson spoke of the fact that she was told to stand behind her co-star Duchovny, who plays Agent Fox Mulder in the cult series.
As well as being literally behind Duchovny on screen, she was also behind on pay, and said it took a few years before she was able to attain equal footing, and equal pay.
“I can only imagine that at the beginning, they wanted me to be the sidekick… 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!”
She laughed off the concept of Scully being a “sidekick”.
“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.”
However the pay gap was not relegated to the 90s, and Anderson faced the same issue for a second time faced with negotiating pay for a six-part revival series set to debut this month.
She said she was offered “half” of the pay of what they were offering to pay Duchovny.
Speaking to the Daily Beast, Anderson says she is shocked more people aren’t talking about her situation, given that pay inequality is a hot topic.
Although she was forced to go through a difficult conversation to get equal pay, she eventually agreed to return as Scully for the same money as Duchovny as Mulder.
Years after speaking out about having a relationship with a woman, actress Gillian Anderson last year said she thought she owed it to her to not keep their relationship a secret.