It’s been more than two decades since
debuted on Fox, but series star Gillian Anderson says in one deeply unfortunate way, it feels like no time has passed.
that her initial salary offer for the upcoming revival, which premieres Sunday, was half of co-star David Duchovny’s.
X-Files Sneak Peek: Witness Scully’s First Moments in the Revival’s Premiere
“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,” Anderson says, expounding on the matter in a conversation with The Daily Beast. “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.”
When the Fox series debuted in 1993, Duchovny had more on-camera experience than relative newbie Anderson and was paid more. But the part of Scully, which Anderson says likely was originally envisioned as Mulder’s “sidekick,” quickly became a co-lead — thanks in part to the actress’ chemistry with Duchovny. As such, Anderson fought for, and eventually received, equity with her co-star’s salary.
VIDEOSThe X-Files Sneak Peek: Watch the First Minute of Fox’s Revival Now
But when it came time to negotiate for the revival, she adds, she found herself back at a very frustrating square one.
“It happened again!” Anderson, who won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her work in the sci-fi drama, tells the site. (In the
article, she noted that, “There’s no point in dealing with my side [first] because, as usual, they come to me with half of what they want to offer David.”)
Eventually, both The Daily Beast and THR note, Anderson and Duchovny took home equal pay for the revival.
Are you surprised to hear about Anderson’s salary struggle? Sound off in the comments!
I understand them paying her lower back in the day, but now it wouldn’t make sense to pay her less, since she’s became a much more acclaimed artist than him.
Yeah when the show started it made sense, but she had gone on to do some killer (pun intended) shows and is a much better / bigger actor than Duchovny.
It’s been taken out-of-context to make it seem worse. The pay they were offering her was simply the starting rate, this how it goes with all actors. And of course she was not happy with the amount offered, which is why actors have agents to negotiate terms including pay. It’s all about speaking up, sticking with your word, and having a great agent that will look out for you.
If you read the second sentence, it says that her “starting rate,” as you claim, was half of Duchovny’s.
I disagree that it is taken out of context to seem worse. The fact is that for the revival her starting point for negotiation should have been equal to David Duchovny’s starting point.
The fact is we don’t know what Duchovny’s starting rate was. Anderson is comparing her starting rate to the finalized one Duchovny and his agent negotiated with the network.
“…they come to me with half of what they want to offer David.”
@Katya: “Once again, Anderson was being offered “half” of what they would pay Duchovny.”
Which is the author’s wording on The Daily Beast. We don’t know for sure if Gillian was offered half of what David was because it sure sounds like he made his negotiations first. And even if she was offered less than David was, it was because the studios and networks are sleazy and try to lowball everyone by giving them the lowest amount they feel they can get away with. That is why it is important to have a good agent that will fight for your rightful pay.
Thank you! This just goes to show that in the is so-called post-feminist (and post-racial) age, you have to keep on’ em. Good for her.
Really glad she’s letting people know what happened. Equally glad she won equity. Sheesh, are we ever going to get out of the 1800s?
Gillian Anderson is the only reason to watch most of the episodes. I’m glad she has equal pay at this point. David is a decent actor and I love Mulder, but there were more times than not where Gillian’s portrayal of Dana Scully was far above the caliber of acting of most people on the show. She’s a truly gifted actress.
would be interesting to hear chris carter’s take on this; am quite sure he wanted equal pay for both
How disgusting! I’m so glad she is letting the world know about this terrible discrimination. How can people, in 2016, still think it’s no big deal that women are paid less, and by people I mean politicians who vote against it?
I don’t think politicians were the ones hiring her for a reboot of the X-Files?
Way to be obtuse. Obviously she was talking about people in general. Not just the Hollywood establishment.
Gillian was the only reason I watched this and why I’ll watch the upcoming miniseries, despite Carter’s awful writing of ep 1. It’s beyond infuriating and maddening that some people are not mad enough about it!
It doesn’t really surprise me. But its not about gender bias. David Duchovny has had much more exposure in the past two decades and she has had a lot less except for Hannibal and a few bit parts. It all comes down to who people will recognize more and where they can save money. I’m glad she negotiated equal pay though.
David Duchovny has either starred written or produced in 39 movies well Gillian Anderson has done 32 almost a negligible amount except for David Duchovny TV series Californication which had a few seasons and was received very well
David’s done around 50 hours of television in that time, most of it on one show. Gillian’s done around 80 hours on something like 12 shows. I see her all the time in things, never see him.
Gillian has kept herself busy on a multitude of mediums, including in Europe. David has done Kalifornia on Sho time and that’s all I know of his work. Gillian co-wrote a novel, did stage, starred in The Fall (which is INCREDIBLE), Hannibal, Crisis, hell she even did an ep of Robot Chicken. But ya maybe fox wanted to save money and they figured the female star should be happy to get paid at all, wouldn’t surprise me.
Why is it that a significant number of Gillian Anderson’s fans can’t comment about any aspect of The X-Files without throwing out that Ms. Anderson is the best actress that ever existed since the dawn of time and Mr. Duchovny is the worst actor ever. Insecure much? Jeez…I feel like I’m back in the 90’s again. Will we ever grown up?
The show was a success because of BOTH Duchovny and Anderson!
And on topic… Good for Gillian that she fought for, and won, equal pay! She deserves no less.
I dunno, we’re only hearing one side here. We don’t know, for example, that her starting offer was half of David’s STARTING offer. Maybe he just finished negotiations first, and her starting offer was half of his agreed-on salary. She got salary parity, so the network clearly saw her as an equal. And anyway, it’s the network’s job to drive as hard a bargain as it can (and the actor’s reps to do the same). We can’t really condemn anyone involved based on the information provided–all we really know from this is that she was paid equally to David when all was said and done.
I assumed it all came down to experience – I know David was in several other shows/movies since the original went off air. But I don’t know anything of Gillian and her career afterwards. I do feel there should be equal pay – but equal pay with equal experience.
Gillian has also been in “several other shows/movies…” and on a global scale (not so with David). She is also more highly thought of as a serious actor; maybe she should have gotten MORE.
It made sense for them to pay her less when the show started. So I’m not going to complain about sexism there.
In order to get the full picture on this issue, we would need to know the timeline. When did she get this offer, compared to when David got his offer? Is she comparing his starting offer with her offer, or is she comparing what he actually signed on for with what they offered her to start? David might not even know what the initial offer was, if his agent negotiated more. So I would need to know what actually happened here before I get all upset.
People today are too quick to jump on the bandwagon of outrage over perceived discrimination. Sometimes being treated equally means being treated like crap.
That’s ridiculous! She’s the main reason I stayed with the show, certainly not for her dullard of a co-star.
Pay people what they deserve. Stop playing with lives people women need their money!
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