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Chadwick Boseman Donated Part of His 21 Bridges Pay to Sienna Miller to Combat Pay Disparity

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Chadwick Boseman’s legacy of goodness continues on with actress Sienna Miller sharing a story of how Boseman gave up part of his salary on Netflix’s 21 Bridges (which Boseman also produced) to ensure she was paid properly.

“This was a pretty big budget film, and I know that everybody understands about the pay disparity in Hollywood, but I asked for a number that the studio wouldn’t get to,” Miller said in an interview with Empire. “And because I was hesitant to go back to work and my daughter was starting school and it was an inconvenient time.”

As a response, Miller agreed to do the role if the compensation could match what she asked for, “and Chadwick ended up donating some of his salary to get me to the number that I had asked for. He said that that was what I deserved to be paid,” she continued.

“He produced 21 Bridges, and had been really active in trying to get me to do it,” Miller said. “He was a fan of my work, which was thrilling, because it was reciprocated from me to him, tenfold. So he approached me to do it, he offered me this film, and it was at a time when I really didn’t want to work anymore. I’d been working non-stop and I was exhausted, but then I wanted to work with him.”

Miller added Boseman’s “generosity and support was unprecedented in the industry.”

“It was about the most astounding thing that I’ve experienced,” she said. “That kind of thing just doesn’t happen. […] It’s just unfathomable to imagine another man in that town behaving that graciously or respectfully.”

Miller has been acting since 2001, to put that in some perspective.

While this is an amazing story that highlights that Boseman was someone who had no problem literally putting money into helping create pay equity, the very fact that he had to do so is utterly absurd. For there to have been such a substantial budget behind the film ($33 million budget), I do not understand how underpaying your lead actress is even a question?

Hollywood already continuously puts women in positions where their youth and appearance takes up a huge part of their brand, but then you have the combination of less pay than their male co-stars and a small pool of roles that fit them, are substantial, and can help boost their career at the same time?

Yes, actors are already very highly paid, and there is plenty to say about how that works, but if they are going to be paid highly, especially when they have worked consistently for almost two decades, pay them their value in this industry. Regardless of whether you are a movie star or a retail worker, you shouldn’t be short-changed, and it should not fall on the feet of your fellow marginalized costar to ensure that you have what your employer should be providing.

Chadwick Boseman was a truly shining human being, and every day it feels surreal we will not see him grace our screens in something new, or just be a part of this living world. He did so much in such a short amount of time; we have been robbed of more kindness and greatness.

(via CNN, image: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for GQ)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.