Reese Witherspoon Nudged HBO to Fix The Wage Gap—and They Listened
No doubt about it: Reese Witherspoon is a badass woman.
Not only has she won an Oscar, Golden Globe, and Emmy with the cast of Big Little Lies, but she also started her own successful clothing line, Draper James , and has her own production company, Hello Sunshine. Oh, and let’s not forget her support of the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements. So it’s no surprise that the 42-year-old star is using her know-how on camera and in the boardroom to help other women.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, HBO executive Casey Bloys reveals how equal pay—and the representation of women in film and TV—is becoming a reality at the network thanks to Witherspoon, who as a producer of Big Little Lies, takes home $1 million per episode alongside Nicole Kidman.
“Reese and Nicole had the vision to know what this could become,” he said. “They brought us a jewel and their enthusiasm became infectious, not only with the Big Little Lies team but throughout all of HBO.”
Specifically, Witherspoon helped spearhead changes in pay at the network, a move that came from conversations she held with executives in the wake of the Time’s Up movement. “One of the things that’s come out of thinking about the movement and some conversations with Reese, who’s really at the forefront, is something we’ve done recently,” Bloys said. “We’ve proactively gone through all of our shows—in fact, we just finished our process where we went through and made sure that there were no inappropriate disparities in pay; and where there were, if we found any, we corrected it going forward. And that’s a direct result of the Time’s Up movement.”
While Bloys explains that of course pay is based on experience, and whether or not certain stars have racked up awards, the point is to treat everyone equally. “So, the thing that has been interesting about the whole movement is that it really is reminding everybody to do what’s right, and I think it’s retaining all of our thinking,” he said.
Leave it to Reese to stand up for women everywhere.