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Jennifer Lawrence Gets Real About Hollywood Wage Gap

Photograph by Moviestore/REX Shutterstock

When the infamous Sony hack opened up a Pandora's box of behind-the-scenes Hollywood feuds, production schemes and salary information, "American Hustle" star Jennifer Lawrence found one glaring detail that was especially disturbing.

The 25-year-old actress, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in the Sony-produced film, discovered that she and co-star Amy Adams made significantly less money for their roles in the movie as compared to male co-stars Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and Christian Bale.

"When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn't get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself," Lawrence writes in an essay titled "Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?" for Lena Dunham's Lenny Letter newsletter. "I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn't want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don't need."

That said, the Oscar winner ("Winter's Bone"), who has had huge financial success due to her roles in "The Hunger Games" and "X-Men" franchises, is ready to call out the Hollywood gender wage gap and what she says is the industry's accompanying sexism.

And she's done with worrying about "being liked," something she says women worry about more so than men.

"Could there still be a lingering habit of trying to express our opinions in a certain way that doesn't 'offend' or 'scare' men?" she asks in the essay, while admitting that she also didn't want to appear "difficult" or "spoiled."

While each of the star's salaries were not leaked in the emails, what was leaked was how many "points" or backend compensation each actor was receiving. The guys? They received 9 percentage points each. The women? Seven percentage points. (And considering the film went on to earn more than $150 million in the U.S. alone, those two percentage points add up to quite a difference.)

This was even after Lawrence had won her Oscar and rose to fame as Katniss Everdeen.

Lawrence writes that she was fine with her compensation until she saw the leaked information and discovered what her male co-stars had received. That, and perhaps they didn't have her same worries about perception.

"Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper all fought and succeeded in negotiating powerful deals for themselves. If anything, I'm sure they were commended for being fierce and tactical, while I was busy worrying about coming across as a brat and not getting my fair share," she writes.

But now, she says, she's done with that kind of thinking.

"I'm over trying to find the 'adorable' way to state my opinion and still be likable!" she writes. "F--k that."

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