Emilia Clarke says she was always paid equally on 'Game of Thrones'

Image: macall b. polay

It shouldn’t be that hard to pay women the same amount as men for equal work, but Hollywood – and, you know, every other industry – continues to struggle with it. Mashable first noted the lack of pay gap on Game of Thrones in 2017, and Emilia Clarke confirmed at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival that this has always been the show’s standard.

“On Game of Thrones, I have always been paid the same amount as my male costars,” Clarke told Glamour. “It was my first job, and I was not discriminated against because I was a woman, in my paycheck.”

That Clarke even knows this is extremely telling. One of the chief ways men can advocate for pay equality is by simply disclosing their salaries to female colleagues, and Clarke’s knowledge shows that either her costars or her employer were transparent from the beginning.

“You start to dig deep and see where [the pay gap] is rife in the industry,” she added. “So I think it’s mainly in the beginning, just be aware of that and going, ‘Can you just check?’ You just start to fight harder for that stuff.”

Of course, Clarke – like Claire Foy, Evan Rachel Wood, and Reese Witherspoon – is a powerful actress and an indispensable lead on her show. But organizations like Time’s Up seek to help women reach equal pay while also bridging the gap in privilege between many of them. HBO is setting an example for other major networks and production companies, and if Thrones‘ popularity is any indication, Clarke’s experience could become the norm. 

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