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Hollywood’s pay inequality has spread to Canada.
On Monday ACTRA, the Canadian actors union, released the findings of an industry census that indicated Canadian actresses make 25 percent less on average than their male counterparts in Ontario, the country’s biggest media market. Local actresses earn 11 percent less than actors when working on Hollywood TV shoots in the province, which includes series like The Handmaid’s Tale and Star Trek: Discovery, ACTRA also finds.
In 2016, the year the industry earnings census covers, ACTRA reported unionized performers in Ontario made an average of $15,023 the whole year. But the paychecks for local actresses added up to an average $12,790 in overall earnings that year, compared to an average $17,159 in overall earnings in 2016 for male performers. The wage gap between actresses and actors climbs to 22 percent for Canadian TV series that shoot in Ontario, but falls to 11 percent when covering foreign, mostly Hollywood, TV shows that shoot in the province.
The census also reveals pay inequities among local actors who identify as ethnically diverse. “The ethnic diversity and gender wage gaps in Canadian TV productions should not be greater than the ethnic diversity and gender wage gaps in non-Canadian TV productions that shoot in Canada,” ACTRA said in commentary that accompanies the census findings.
Ontario’s pay gap revelations follow ACTRA members’ decision in Dec. 2018 to ratify a new three-year labor deal with Canadian and U.S. producers that offered a rate increase of nine percent over three years to Dec. 31, 2021.
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