Lily Tomlin & Jane Fonda Angry They Were Paid the Same for Grace and Frankie as Male Supporting Cast

And now so are we.

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Hollywood has a gender pay gap problem just like the rest of the workforce, as has been thoroughly demonstrated with recent data revelations, and Netflix’s Grace and Frankie is no different—in terms of sharing that problem. What is different—and surprising—is that the show has two headlining female leads and still can’t break the pay gap mold.

Tomlin and Fonda’s (character) names literally comprise the new comedy’s title, but they’ve found out they’re still being paid the same salary for the show as their costars, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston. Grace and Frankie become friends in the show when their husbands leave them for each other, but Fonda and Tomlin are currently bonding over their own real-life issue. Fonda told Zap2it at a Netflix press event before the show’s premiere, “[Tomlin] found out [Waterston and Sheen] are getting the same salary that we are. That doesn’t make us happy.”

To which Tomlin added, “No. The show is not ‘Sol and Robert’—it’s Grace and Frankie.”

This is especially disappointing given how excited we were that Netflix was making a comedy show about two women above the age the movie and TV industries usually deem acceptable—as well as our happiness with Netflix in general with its seeming ability to freely break standard cable TV norms wherever it sees fit. We expected better from you, Netflix.

UV1kFvz

(Although Grace and Frankie‘s production company, Skydance Productions, may be more to blame.)

Either way, the fact that two women starring in a TV show is only enough to get them up to an even level of pay as their male costars says a lot about how much more there is to be done for pay equality. Tomlin said, “Even in little increments [things for women in film and TV have] changed, [but] there’s still a lot to do and care about.”

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct <em>Geekosystem</em> (RIP), and then at <em>The Mary Sue</em> starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at <em>Smash Bros.</em>