Scarlett Johansson was this year’s highest-paid actress, but her earnings still paled in comparison to those of her male counterparts. (She made $40.5 million, which was less than the seventh highest-paid male of the year, Tom Cruise.) Come 2020, though, and the pay gap may be a lot narrower. That’s because the actress just landed a major payday, and step toward gender equality in Hollywood, with her Black Widow role.
Johansson is reportedly getting paid $15 million for the one film, according to sources at The Hollywood Reporter. That amounts to about the same earnings her male contemporaries brought in for their Marvel roles, like Chris Evans’s Captain America and Chris Hemsworth’s Thor. It’s also a huge leap from the reportedly “low-seven-figure salary” Johansson earned for 2012’s Avengers and the $5 million Brie Larson is earning for 2019’s Captain Marvel, as THR notes.
Still, Johansson has made it clear that although her earnings have landed her on top-paid lists, that doesn’t mean she hasn’t had to struggle for that spot. “Just because I’m the top-grossing actress of all time does not mean I’m the highest paid,” she told Marie Claire last year. “I’ve had to fight for everything that I have. It’s such a fickle and political industry.”
She also opened up about the decision to share her journey with the public rather than keep it private. “Some people felt I should talk about my personal struggle in order to shed a spotlight on the greater issue,” she said. “Maybe I’m being presumptuous, but I assumed it was obvious that women in all positions struggle for equality. It’s always an uphill battle and fight…[I believe] that it is really important to hear people in various positions of power to voice their opinions, their story. Why not? Why can’t I have the voice? Why can’t I use my platform? What’s the point of having it if you don’t use it? If you don’t want to get involved, please, the noise is loud enough. But if you’ve got something to say, say it.” As much as Johansson has used her voice for her own equality and, by extension, overall equality, there’s still a long, long way to go.