CULTURE

Emily Blunt Thinks Hollywood’s Gender Pay Gap Calls for ‘Aggressive’ Action

"I don’t think it does s---, to be honest."


Christopher Polk/Getty Images for TNT

As 2017 was a year of Hollywood’s long history with sexism being exposed to real consequences, this one will hopefully bring more solutions — and Emily Blunt already has one. In a recent cover story with Vanity Fair, the actress revealed her own approach to correcting the industry’s systematic oppression: “aggressive action.”

“I took it on as my personal responsibility to make sure that I don’t feel shortchanged or less than,” Blunt told Vanity Fair. “Especially in this new climate, I think that it’s O.K. to reclaim the words ‘making an aggressive deal’ as a positive. Usually people are making so much money off your back that it comes down to a sort of justice thing for me. I make it a point to not be too concerned with ‘I hope they think I’m a team player.’ The people who are calling and making the deals are business affairs. It’s not the producer. It’s people who are billed to f— you up. To shortchange you. . . . In a way, because we are inundated with those types of stories now, it has created a much safer climate to ask for what you want.”

Indeed, other actresses have said the same. In 2016, House of Cards star Robin Wright revealed that she had to threaten going public about Netflix’s decision to give her $500,000 less than her co-star Kevin Spacey in order for the streaming service to oblige. “I was like, ‘You better pay me or I’m going to go public,'” she said at the time. “And they did.”

Not everyone is in a position to put their livelihood at stake while negotiating fair wages though. Similarly, not everyone is equipped to endure the entertainment industry’s hardships while forging a career, as Blunt explained. “You are part of a machine that is moving and will overwhelm you and drown you if you are not tough in it,” she said of Hollywood. “It’s a very precarious industry that can often be quite crushing, so any advice I have for anyone going into it is to do something else.”

Blunt also offered her thoughts on social media: “I don’t think it does s—, to be honest,” she said. “I think a movie lives or dies on word of mouth and the trailer. I have seen people do endless social-media campaigns and the movie tanks, so I don’t see a correlation. . . . I strongly believe that my job is to persuade you that I am playing somebody else, so exposing too much personally is just something I can’t get on board with.”

Related: Jessica Chastain’s One Simple Trick to Making Sure She’s Getting Paid as Much as Her Male Co-Stars

The Prada-Filled Style Evolution of Emily Blunt

One of her first major red carpet appearances, Blunt opted for a lace-trimmed pink frock at The Devil Wears Prada premiere in June 2006.

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Blunt opted for sheer, body-hugging white at the 2007 Golden Globes.

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The redhead opted for a one-shoulderd jade gown at the 2008 BAFTAs.

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A nude moment for the actress in 2009 at the Elle Women in Hollywood Tribute.

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Embracing metallics at the SAG Awards in 2009.

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Lovely in lavender at the 2010 Emmy Awards.

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At the 2010 Critics Choice Awards, Blunt opted for a short, armor-like dress.

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Blunt attended the 67th Annual Golden Globes Awards in a romantic confection of a dress.

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Embracing her love for bold hues, Blunt stunned in hot pink at the 2011 Kennedy Center Honors.

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Blunt opted for a dramatic, black and grey look at the 2011 Emmy Awards.

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At the 2007 BAFTAs, Blunt cinched a tiered, black beaded gown with a bright turquoise sash.

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All suited up at the 2011 premiere of Gnomeo And Juliet.

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Blunt stepped up her fashion game once again at the 2011 Critics Choice Awards.

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At the 2011 premiere of The Adjustment Bureau, Blunt stepped out in a blooming knee-length frock.

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Streamlined in a stunning tangerine gown at the Harper’s Bazaar Woman of the Year Awards.

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A golden goddess in Michael Kors Collection at the 2013 Golden Globes.

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Blunt went for tulle LBD at a 2013 benefit gala in NYC.

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A fashion risk–the formal crop-top–that paid off during the 2014 Dubai International Film Festival.

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A rose-covered Dolce & Gabbana moment at the 2014 premiere of Into The Woods.

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Chic in simple Calvin Klein at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

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A playful daytime look at the Cannes Film Festival.

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Blunt donned a white, grecian Michael Kors Collection number at the 2015 Golden Globes.

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Blunt matched her sweet strapless dress with neon shoes at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

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Stunning in crimson red at the 2015 Critics Choice Awards.

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Blunt dressed in Prada, of course, at the 2015 MET Gala.

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Another Prada moment for the actress at the 2015 premiere of Sicario.

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A truly show-stopping fashion moment in Alexander McQueen at the premiere of The Girl on The Train in London.

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Blunt attended the 2016 Academy Awards pregnant and wearing Prada.

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Still pregnant and glowing, in Michael Kors, at the 2016 Met Gala.

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Another red carpet, another risk: this time in intricate, nude-colored Roberto Cavalli.

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