Benedict Cumberbatch on using his platform to get female projects made

As more and mores stories of gender pay discrimination in Hollywood emerging, we need more male actors to step up and take a stand alongside their co-stars.

Enter Benedict Cumberbatch, who is one of the first high-profile stars to put his money where his mouth is with the promise that he will turn down roles should his female co-star not receive equal pay.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Cumberbatch said: “Equal pay and a place at the table are the entral tenets of feminism. Look at your quotas. Ask what women are being paid, and say: ‘If she’s not paid the same as the men, I’m not doing it’.

“I’m proud that [partner] Adam [Ackland] and I are the only men in our production company,” he added on his company, SunnyMarch. “Our next project is a female story with a female lens about motherhood, in a time of environmental disaster. If it’s centered around my name, to get investors, then we can use that attention for a raft of female projects. Half the audience is female!”

This is a welcome stance in light of recent scandals surrounding projects such as The Crown, on which Matt Smith said: “I’m pleased that it was resolved and they made amends for it because that what’s needed to happen.

“Going forward, I think we should all bear in mind that we need to strive to make this better and a more even playing field for everyone involved — but not just in our industry, in all industries.”