Julie Delpy revealed she was paid less than Ethan Hawke for 1995's beloved Before Sunrise.
“gender pay inequality is a huge issue in our society and every employer and lawmaker should be doing everything they possibly can to correct flagrant examples of discrimination that should have been resolved a generation or two ago.”
Linklater notes that, with a total budget of $2.7 million, no one was getting paid much of anything.
“Salaries are negotiated by agents behind the scenes on behalf of their clients, and Ethan Hawke did get paid a little more than Julie Delpy on the first two of these films. No one involved in the productions considered this an injustice in 1994 because Julie was just getting established in the U.S. while Ethan was one of the biggest stars in his age range, getting offered seemingly every project in the industry.”
Linklater says that “it was obvious that everyone should be paid the same” by that point (3rd film).
“I don’t remember it even being an issue—it was just something we three agreed upon, with no conflict or theatrics. I don’t doubt that Julie was determined to receive equal pay for Before Midnight, I just want to be clear that she did not have to negotiate or demand it and that she was never offered anything less.”
Linklater adds that while there’s no doubt industry compensation is an issue in the world of low-budget indies like Before Sunrise, “the most glaring examples” exist in the realm of big-budget projects.
“[I]t’s up to everyone to do everything they can to demand transparency and this long-overdue equality at whatever level they find themselves.”