Benedict Cumberbatch is calling for equal pay in the entertainment industry, encouraging studios and production companies to be more vigilant in ensuring that men and women are paid the same. Cumberbatch’s comments come at a time when such high profile content producers as the BBC and Netflix have been caught up in scandals relating to unbalanced gender pay.
Speaking to the Radio Times to promote his new Patrick Melrose series, Cumberbatch said this:
“Equal pay and a place at the table are the central 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’.”
Patrick Melrose, which is based on a series of novels by Edward St Aubyn’s, was the first project to be produced by Cumberbatch’s SunnyMarch production company. Cumberbatch’s next project with SunnyMarch has a story centred on motherhood, which is told through “a female lens”.
“If it’s centred around my name, to get investors, then we can use that attention for a raft of female projects”, Cumberbatch said, providing a stellar example of how an established star can use their influence in the industry to amplify female voices, as well as encouraging gender-based pay equality.
Patrick Melrose debuts on Sky Atlantic on May 13th.