5 'Big Bang Theory' actors agree to a pay cut so their female co-stars can earn more.

When two of the female co-stars of "The Big Bang Theory" stood up for equal pay, their coworkers didn't just mumble the usual supportive platitudes.

Cast members of "The Big Bang Theory." Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images.

According to a report in Variety, the show's five original cast members each agreed to take a $100,000 per episode pay cut so that Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialick — who joined the cast in season three — could get a raise.

Rauch (left) and Bialick. Photo by Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images.


The show's original (and predominately male) stars — Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kunal Nayyar, Simon Helberg, and Kaley Cuoco — currently make a staggering $1 million per episode while Bialick and Rauch earn much less at $200,000.

With an extra $500,000 per episode allocated to the two women, their salaries would rise to $450,000 — less than half of what the original five actors presently earn but more than double their original rate. Contract negotiations are ongoing.

As in many industries, women in TV and movies are frequently paid less than their male co-stars.

While none of "The Big Bang Theory" players are hurting for cash regardless of the pay disparity, not all actors make bank like the stars of a hit network TV show going on 10 seasons. And if pay inequality can happen to people on the higher end of the pay scale, where they have agents and managers advocating on their behalf, it can (and does) happen to people at all levels of pay.

That gap reflects, among other inequities, female actors' shorter earnings peak and fewer opportunities to star in big-budget film franchises and hit TV shows. Part of the reason Rauch and Bialick earn so much less than their castmates is because the show only added them to its male-dominated lineup three seasons into its run (though they officially became part of the main cast in season four).

Often, even big female stars find themselves earning less for similar work.

Amy Adams (left) and Jennifer Lawrence. Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In 2015, Sony found itself embroiled in scandal after hacked e-mails revealed that "American Hustle" leads Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner were paid more than Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role.

Women who ask for raises tend to get them less often — across a wide variety of fields.

A 2016 study by the University of Wisconsin, the University of Warwick, and Cass University found that although women ask for pay increases at roughly the same rate as men, they get them 25% less frequently. Additional research shows that women who do ask are perceived as "greedy" more often than their male colleagues.

Bialick and Rauch are reportedly continuing to press Warner Bros. TV and CBS to get closer to actual parity. And more women in Hollywood are speaking out about unfair treatment.

Scarlett Johansson recently revealed to Marie Claire magazine that her status as highest-grossing actress of all time "does not mean I'm the highest paid." And after the "American Hustle" scandal broke, Jennifer Lawrence was even more blunt about advocating for herself going forward in a letter published in Lenny:

"I'm over trying to find the 'adorable' way to state my opinion and still be likable! Fuck that. I don't think I've ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard."

Hopefully, "The Big Bang Theory" negotiations are evidence that more men in the industry are finally waking up to what their female colleagues have struggled with for years.

Photo by Monty Brinton/CBS.

The fact that the show's four men — and one woman — are opening up their own pocketbooks in support of their co-stars is an encouraging sign.

As more movie and TV stars start talking a big game about supporting pay equity, some are finally putting their money where their mouth is.

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Don't test on animals. That's something we can all agree on, right? No one likes to think of defenseless cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds being exposed to a bunch of things that could make them sick (and the animals aren't happy about it, either). It's no wonder so many people and organizations have fought to stop it. But did you ever think that maybe brands are testing products on us too, they're just not telling us they're doing it?

I know, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that's exactly what e-cigarette brands like JUUL (which corners the e-cigarette market) are doing in this country right now, and young people are on the frontlines of the fallout. Most people assume that the government would have looked at devices that allow people to inhale unknown chemicals into their lungs BEFORE they hit the market. You would think that someone in the government would have determined that they are safe. But nope, that hasn't happened. And vape companies are fighting to delay the government's ability to evaluate these products.

So no one really knows the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use, not even JUUL's CEO, nor are they informing the public about the potential risks. On top of that, according to the FDA, there's been a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage among high school and middle school-aged children in just the last two years, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to officially recognize the trend as an epidemic and urge action against it.

These facts have elicited others to take action, as well.

Truth Initiative, the nonprofit best known for dropping the real facts about smoking and vaping since 2000 through its truth campaign, is now on a mission to confront e-cigarette brands like JUUL about the lack of care they've taken to inform consumers of the potential adverse side effects of their products. And they're doing it with the help of animal protesters who are tired of seeing humans treated like test subjects.

The March Against JUUL | Tested On Humans | truth www.youtube.com

"No one knows the long-term effects of JUULing so any human who uses one is being used as a lab rat," says, appropriately, Mario the Sewer Rat.

"I will never stop fighting JUUL. Or the mailman," notes Doug the Pug, the Instagram-famous dog star.

Truth, the national counter-marketing campaign for youth smoking prevention, hopes this fuzzy, squeaky, snorty animal movement arms humans with the facts about vaping and inspires them to demand transparency from JUUL and other e-cigarette companies. You can get your own fur babies involved too by sharing photos of them wearing protest gear with the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans. Here's some adorable inspo for you:

The dangerous stuff is already out there, but with knowledge on their side, young people will hopefully make the right choices and fight companies making the wrong ones. If you need more convincing, here are the serious facts.

Over the last decade, 127 e-cigarette-related seizures were reported, which prompted the FDA to launch an official investigation in April 2019. Since then, over 215 cases of a new, severe lung illness have sprung up all over the country, with six deaths to date. While scientists aren't yet sure of the root cause, the majority of victims were young adults who regularly vaped and used e-cigarettes. As such, the CDC has launched an official investigation into the potential link.

Sixteen-year-old Luka Kinard, a former frequent e-cigarette-user, is one of the many teens who experienced severe side effects. "Vaping was my biggest addiction," he told NowThis. "It lasted for about 15 months of my high school career." In 2018, Kinard was hospitalized after having a seizure. He also had severe nausea, chest pains, and difficulty breathing.

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Teens are 16 times more likely to use e-cigarettes than adults, and four times more likely to take up traditional smoking as a result, according to truth, and yet the e-cigarette market remains virtually unregulated and untested. In fact, companies like JUUL continue to block and prevent FDA regulations, investing more than $1 million in lawyers and lobbying efforts in the last quarter alone.

Photo by Lindsay Fox/Pixabay

Consumers have a right to know what they're putting in their bodies. If everyone (and their pets) speaks up, the e-cigarette industry will have to make a change. Young people are already taking action across the country. They're hosting rallies nationwide and on October 9 as part of a National Day of Action, young people are urging their friends and classmates to "Ditch JUUL." Will you join them?

For help with quitting e-cigarettes, visit thetruth.com/quit or text DITCHJUUL to 88709 for free, anonymous resources.

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