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?"

True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

ZACHOR Foundation

"What's 'the Holocaust'?" my 11-year-old son asks me. I take a deep breath as I gauge how much to tell him. He's old enough to understand that prejudice can lead to hatred, but I can't help but feel he's too young to hear about the full spectrum of human horror that hatred can lead to.

I wrestle with that thought, considering the conversation I recently had with Ben Lesser, a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor who was just a little younger than my son when he witnessed his first Nazi atrocity.

It was September of 1939 and the Blitzkrieg occupation of Poland had just begun. Ben, his parents, and his siblings were awakened in their Krakow apartment by Nazi soldiers who pistol-whipped them out of bed and ransacked their home. As the men with the shiny black boots filled burlap sacks with the Jewish family's valuables, a scream came from the apartment across the hall. Ben and his sister ran toward the cry.

They found a Nazi swinging their neighbors' baby upside down by its legs, demanding that the baby's mother make it stop crying. As the parents screamed, "My baby! My baby!" the Nazi smirked—then swung the baby's head full force into the door frame, killing it instantly.

This story and others like it feel too terrible to tell my young son, too out of context from his life of relative safety and security. And yet Ben Lesser lived it at my son's age. And it was too terrible—for anyone, much less a 10-year-old. And it was also completely out of context from the life of relative safety and security Ben and his family had known before the Nazi tanks rolled in.

Keep Reading Show less
True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

With many schools going virtual, many daycare facilities being closed or limited, and millions of parents working from home during the pandemic, the balance working moms have always struggled to achieve has become even more challenging in 2020. Though there are more women in the workforce than ever, women still take on the lion's share of household and childcare duties. Moms also tend to bear the mental load of keeping track of all the little details that keep family life running smoothly, from noticing when kids are outgrowing their clothing to keeping track of doctor and dentist appointments to organizing kids' extracurricular activities.

It's a lot. And it's a lot more now that we're also dealing with the daily existential dread of a global pandemic, social unrest, political upheaval, and increasingly intense natural disasters.

That's why scientist Gretchen Goldman's refreshingly honest photo showing where and how she conducted a CNN interview is resonating with so many.

Keep Reading Show less
via State of Deleware

Same-sex marriage is legal in America and these days 63% of all Americans support the idea. Ten years ago, it was still a controversial issue among Democrats, but in 2019, 79% say they support same-sex marriage.

The issue played a big role in the Democratic primary for the Delaware's House of Representatives 27th district race. On September 15, Eric Morrison defeated incumbent Earl Jacques in a landslide and gay rights was a central issue.

In 2013, Jaques voted against same-sex marriage and refused to vote yes or no on banning gay conversion therapy in the state. On the other hand, Morrison is a gay drag queen who performs under the name Anita Mann and is very progressive on LGBTQ issues.

Keep Reading Show less