Octavia Spencer & Jessica Chastain Bring Gender Equality Discussion to Women of Color

· Updated on May 28, 2018

With awards season underway, the #metoo and Time’s Up movements are bringing the injustices and inequality against women in Hollywood to the spotlight. Some of the industry’s most famous names have been speaking out against the gender wage gap that takes place in most professional settings, including those in Hollywood.

Octavia Spencer recently spoke about the issue during the Hollywood Foreign Press Association-hosted “Women Breaking Barriers” panel at Sundance Film Festival. She stars in an upcoming comedy with friend, Jessica Chastain. They previously starred together in The Help.

“She contacted me and said, ‘I want us to do a comedy,’” Spencer said. “I’m like, ‘Yeah.’ She called me six months later, which would have been last March, and we were talking about pay equity with men and women. She was like, ‘It’s time that women get paid as much as men.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah Jessica, it’s time.’ We were dropping F-bombs and getting it all out there.”

But Spencer enlightened Chastain on a very important point that often remains left out of the gender wage gap discussion. As a black woman, it’s even more difficult for Spencer to get the pay she deserves.

“And then I said, ‘But here’s the thing, women of color on that spectrum, we make far less than white women. So, if we’re gonna have that conversation about pay equity, we gotta bring the women of color to the table.’ And I told her my story, and we talked numbers, and she was quiet, and she said she had no idea that that’s what it was like for women of color.”

With Chastain’s help, the two are now making five times what they asked for.

Watch the “Women Breaking Barriers” panel from Sundance Film Festival below:

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