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TV Writers Circulate Anonymous Google Doc Pay Survey to Exhibit Issues of Pay Disparity

Amy Sherman-Palladino / Image via Getty
Amy Sherman-Palladino / Image via Getty

On Tuesday a group of anonymous TV writers, actors, and assistants began to circulate their salaries in a well organized Google spreadsheet.

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The spreadsheet comes just days after actresses Mo’Nique and Ellen Pompeo spoke openly about gender and racial pay disparity in their industry, the former calling for a ban on Netflix. Previously public, you now need to request access to the doc, which listed the salaries in different tabs. Both men and women contributed to the document and also listed if they were a person of color.

Referencing the doc, the Hollywood Reporter reports that while a female POC co-producer on a CBS-produced CW show earns $10,000 an episode, a white woman working on a CBS-produced CW show actually earns $14,000 an episode. One assistant wrote that she was first offered $600 a week for her job until she pointed out that was below the minimum wage and illegal.

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Pay equity continues to be a small part of the Time’s Up movement, invigorated by reports of Michelle Williams being paid less than $1,000 for All the Money in the World reshoots while her costar Mark Wahlberg was paid over $1 million, as well as E! News’ Catt Sadler recently leaving the network after pay disparity issues. And anonymous crowd-sourced Google Docs continue to be a great way for marginalized groups to help each other.

Pop Culture Reporter, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

I really want it to be more ok for people to discuss their salaries. People are so money-squeemish. Having it instilled in us that talking about pay is uncouth has only hurt us. But keeping pay secret only helps employers, for the rest of us it’s powerful information.

Maybe because I spent most of my working life doing freelance and everyone (under 40) was very free talking about money. “Such-and-such company will pay you this much, so-and-so doesn’t pay on time,” etc. It’s harder to hide inequalities and poor pay practices if employees/contractors aren’t so cagey about doing it.