Amy Schumer: I Don’t ‘Deserve’ to Be Paid the Same As Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock
As women in Hollywood continue to speak up about deserving pay equal to their male co-stars, comedian Amy Schumer has come forward with a slightly different take.
On Instagram on Wednesday, the Trainwreck star posted that she doesn’t “deserve” the same pay as fellow comedians Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock, given the two stars’ lengthy, acclaimed careers. In the caption of a photo of herself—nearly naked, holding a dog dressed in a hot dog costume, no less—Schumer proclaimed her belief that “women deserve equal pay.”
“However I don’t believe I deserve equal pay to Chris and Dave. They are legends and 2 of the greatest comics of all time. I would like to say that I have been selling out arenas these last couple years. Something a female comic has never done. That’s a big deal to me, especially because I know I do my best every night on stage for the audience and they have a good time. I didn’t ask for the same as my friends.”
Her post responded to reports that she’d retroactively negotiated for higher pay from Netflix for her show The Leather Special after learning that Rock and Chappelle had each commanded $20 million for their own specials. Schumer initially earned $11 million for her show, but Variety reports that she “received significantly more” after raising how her compensation compared to Rock’s and Chappelle’s.
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“I did ask for more than the initial offer,” Schumer wrote on Wednesday. “I will continue to work my ass off and be the best performer I can be. The reports of me ‘demanding’ or ‘insisting’ on equal pay to them aren’t true.”
Accusations of bias against female entertainers have dogged Hollywood in earnest since the 2014 Sony hack, when leaked emails revealed that Jennifer Lawrence was compensated less than her male co-stars in American Hustle. Since then, female stars have come forward to demand more money. Gillian Anderson, for instance, was offered half as much money as co-star David Duchovny for the revival of The X-Files in 2016.
“I wasn’t paid half—I was offered half, which is a big difference,” Anderson said in explaining how she demanded more.
In January, actress Jessica Chastain, star of The Help and Zero Dark Thirty, revealed that she lost a major movie role after demanding the same pay as a male co-star. “‘I turned it down, and they didn’t come back,” she said. And Shameless star Emily Rossum famously held up the show’s eighth season renewal with an equal-pay standoff with producers.
Schumer’s post on the issue, meanwhile, brings up a good point: that the equal pay fight isn’t about everyone earning the exact same dollar amount. It’s about ensuring that women are paid just as much as men, when all other things—like job level and experience—are equal.