Benedict Cumberbatch on using his platform to get female projects made

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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.”