Emmy Rossum is demanding equal pay on 'Shameless.' And she really means equal.

In Showtime's "Shameless," Fiona is the feisty oldest daughter of the Gallagher family — the level-headed one, the one who seems to keep everyone else in check.

Judging by new reports about Emmy Rossum, the actress who brings Fiona to life each season, it appears reality is starting to mirror fiction.

Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images.


Before she commits to returning for the show's eighth season, Rossum is demanding equal pay for her role. And that's not all.

According to Variety, Rossum has already been offered the same pay as her male co-star, William H. Macy, who plays her dad in the show. But she's also seeking some retroactive equal-pay justice, so to speak.

As Variety reports (emphasis added):

"Rossum is demanding equal pay with Macy, after seven seasons of being paid less than him, according to a report published earlier today by the Hollywood Reporter. A source tells Variety she has in fact been offered equal pay. But she is holding out for a bigger salary than Macy to make up for the previous seasons where she was making significantly less than him."

While Rossum's demands may come across as excessive to some, they really ... aren't. Just look at her value to the show.

Rossum — whose critically acclaimed performance as Fiona has snagged two Critics' Choice Awards — plays such an integral role in the series that the network hasn't even considered the option of moving on without her. Rossum even directed episodes of the series this past season.

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for CDG.

While Macy was arguably the bigger star when the series began in 2011, "Shameless" wasn't Rossum's first big break — she'd already appeared in "Mystic River," starred in 2004's blockbuster "The Day After Tomorrow" alongside Jake Gyllenhaal and garnered rave reviews for 2004's "Phantom of the Opera."

Rossum's request to be back-paid equally for her performance in earlier seasons would set a significant precedent in helping to close the gender pay gap in Hollywood.

A-listers like Jennifer Lawrence, Robin Wright, and Patricia Arquette have helped elevate the conversation in Hollywood — an extension of broader pay inequality that exists between men and women across virtually all industries, a gap that's even more stark when you're a person of color.

Viola Davis, currently starring in ABC's "How to Get Away With Murder," has spoken out about how women of color are further affected by systemic sexism in Tinseltown (again, reflecting an injustice felt far beyond Hollywood).

Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Variety.

Speaking to Mashable, Davis explained how she's personally affected by the issue (emphasis added):

"I believe in equal pay, first of all. I’m sorry, if a woman does the same job as a man, she should be paid the same amount of money. She just should. ... But at the same time, with me as an actress of color, I have to say to probably contradict myself, that’s not something I think about on a daily basis. Because the struggle for us as women of color is just to be seen the same as our white female counterparts."

Hollywood's certainly got its work cut out.

Closing Hollywood's pay gap may seem unimportant to everyday people, seeing as we're debating how many millions these celebs make. But it's not.

Dollar signs aside, any kind of inequality is indicative of a broader issue. If Hollywood's A-listers can help push this conversation forward, its ripple effect will affect all of us.

When Jennifer Lawrence spoke out last year on the discrimination she faced, for instance, it touched on a much bigger point, as Alicia Adamczyk noted in Time:

"If one of the biggest celebrities of the moment, of either sex, can’t pull down as much as her male co-stars for the same job," she asked, "what does it say about how we value any woman’s work?"

More

Andy Grammer, the pop singer and songwriter behind feel-good tunes like "Keep Your Head Up," "Back Home," and "Don't Give Up on Me," has a new album out—and it is seriously fabulous. Titled simply "Naive," Grammer says it's "all about how seeing the good in todays world can feel like a rebellious act."

"I wrote this album for the light bringers," Grammer shared on Facebook. "The people who choose to see the good even in the overwhelming chaos of the bad. The smilers who fight brick by brick to build an authentic smile everyday, even when it seems like an impossible thing to do. For those who have been marginalized as 'sweet' or 'cute' or 'less powerful' for being overly positive. To me optimism is a war to be fought, possibly the most important one. If I am speaking to you and you are relating to it then know I made this album for you. You are my tribe. I love you and I hope it serves you. Don't let the world turn down your shine, we all so badly need it."

Reading that, it's easy to think maybe he really is naive, but Grammer's positivity isn't due to nothing difficult ever happening in his life. His mom, Kathy, died of breast cancer when Grammer was 25. He and his mother were very close, and her life and death had a huge impact on him.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
via Stratford Festival / Twitter

Service dogs are invaluable to their owners because they are able to help in so many different ways.

They're trained to retrieve dropped Items, open and close doors, help their owners remove their clothes, transport medications, navigate busy areas such as airports, provide visual assistance, and even give psychological help.

The service dog trainers at K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs in Canada want those who require service dogs to live the fullest life possible, so they're training dogs on how to attend a theatrical performance.

The adorable photos of the dogs made their way to social media where they quickly went viral.

On August 15, a dozen dogs from Golden Retrievers to poodles, were treated to a performance of "Billy Elliott" at the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada. This was a special "relaxed performance" featuring quieter sound effects and lighting, designed for those with sensory issues.

RELATED: This service dog and veteran are raising awareness for PTSD in inspiring ways

"It's important to prepare the dogs for any activity the handler may like to attend," Laura Mackenzie, owner and head trainer at K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs, told CBC.

"The theater gives us the opportunity to expose the dogs to different stimuli such as lights, loud noises, and movement of varying degrees," she continued. "The dogs must remain relaxed in tight quarters for an extended period of time."

The dogs got to enjoy the show from their own seats and took a break with everyone else during intermission. They were able to familiarize themselves with the theater experience so they know how to navigate through crowds and fit into tight bathroom stalls.

via Stratford Festival / Twitter


via Stratford Festival / Twitter


via Stratford Festival / Twitter

"About a dozen dogs came to our relaxed performance, and they were all extremely well-behaved," says Stratford Festival spokesperson Ann Swerdfager. "I was in the lobby when they came in, then they took their seats, then got out of their seats at intermission and went back — all of the things we learn as humans when we start going to the theater."

RELATED: This sneaky guide dog is too pure for this world. A hilarious video proves it.

The dogs' great performance at the trial run means that people who require service animals can have the freedom to enjoy special experiences like going to the theater.

"It's wonderful that going to the theater is considered one of the things that you want to train a service dog for, rather than thinking that theater is out of reach for people who require a service animal, because it isn't," Swerdfager said.

The Stratford Festival runs through Nov. 10 and features productions of "The Merry Wives of Windsor," "The Neverending Story," "Othello," "Billy Elliot," "Little Shop of Horrors," "The Crucible" and more.

Inclusivity

Graphic helps identify what triggers you emotionally in relationships

Knowing your triggers helps you manage your emotions.

via Blessing Manifesting / Instagram

Learning your emotional triggers on your own is one thing but figuring out your triggers in a relationship adds another layer of intensity. Maybe you're afraid of being abandoned or want to feel the need to push the other person away but you don't know why.

If this sounds familiar, you're not alone. It's why artist and mental health advocate Dominee Wyrick created a graphic to help you identify what triggers you in relationships.

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being

15 'habits' of people who grew up with an 'emotionally fragile' parent

Having an emotionally fragile parent can leave lasting damage.

via The Mighty

If you grew up with an "emotionally fragile" parent, chances are, you didn't have the typical, idyllic childhood you often see in movies.

Maybe your parent lived with debilitating depression that thrust you into the role of caregiver from a very young age.

Maybe your parent was always teetering on the edge of absolute rage, so you learned to tiptoe around them to avoid an explosion. Or maybe your parent went through a divorce or separation, and leaned on you for more emotional support than was appropriate to expect of a child.

Keep Reading Show less
Family