Why Amy Adams' silence on equal pay in Hollywood speaks volumes for workers' rights.

Actress Amy Adams has been mistakenly painted as keeping mum on gender pay inequality — when, in fact, she was trying to do the opposite.

After being criticized for not being more vocal about the gender pay gap when it was revealed that she and co-star Jennifer Lawrence were making significantly less than their male counterparts in "American Hustle," Adams set the record straight.

Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images for IFP.


In a telling interview, Adams revealed that to her, there are more important gender wage gap issues to talk about.

"Everyone wanted me to talk about how I felt about it, but I want to fight for people outside our industry, so to come out and look ungrateful about what I'm paid as an actress just didn't feel right," Adams told The Telegraph.

Having taken home $11.5 million in 2017, Adams makes substantially more than teachers and domestic workers, not to mention doctors and lawyers.

"I do believe in equal pay, but let's start with our teachers," Adams added. "Let's get waiters paid the minimum wage. That's what's great about what's happening with Time's Up — we're starting to have bigger conversations than just about what's happening in Hollywood."

Adams' point rings painfully true: White women across industries make, on average, 80 cents to the white male dollar — and those numbers are much worse for black and Latinx women.

According to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, Latinx women make 54 cents for every dollar that a white man makes, and black women are not expected to see equal pay until 2124.

Yes, that's more than a hundred years from now.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

The dialogue around wage issues and pay inequity across race and industry is growing.

As teachers across the U.S. march for higher pay and school funding, immigrant restaurant workers strike for livable wages, and activists across the country demand that the minimum wage be raised to meet an unreal inflation rate, Adams' point about centering these voices is important.

Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images.

That doesn't mean that women in Hollywood can't or shouldn't fight for equal pay too.

Just because one makes a sizable income doesn't mean they're not allowed to decry patriarchal pay standards. Well-known women like Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay, Mindy Kaling, and Tracee Ellis Ross are on the frontlines of the pay gap in Hollywood, and they've spoken out for women in their and other industries as well.

"I went to my boss at the time and I said everybody needs a raise," Winfrey once told Time magazine. "And he said, 'Why?' He actually said to me, 'They're only girls. They're a bunch of girls — what do they need more money for?' I go, 'Well, either they're going to get raises, or I'm going to sit down.' I will not work unless they get paid.'"

Whether Adams will become more vocal about the gender pay gap in Hollywood specifically remains to be seen, but she certainly deserves applause for offering some much-needed truth-telling on the importance of centering society's most vulnerable in the discussion of pay inequity.

Let's continue raising our voices in our own ways to make sure change happens for everyone.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via Anthony Crider / Flickr

Dozens of "White Lives Matter" rallies were scheduled to take place across America on Sunday. The events were scheduled in semi-private, encrypted chats on the Telegram app between Nazis, Proud Boys, and other right-wing extremists.

The organizers said the rallies would make "the whole world tremble."

However, the good news is that hardly any white supremacists showed up. In fact, the vast majority of people who did show up were counter-protesters.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less