One of the most prominent A-list presences in the emails ripped from Sony’s servers by the hacking collective Guardians of Peace is none other than Jennifer Lawrence (who is, sadly, no stranger to hacking herself).
Lawrence and her fabulous email handle (peanutbutt) make several cameos in the leak, including numerous pleasant exchanges with Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, over her dazzling turn in American Hustle, which was co-financed by Sony arm Columbia Pictures. There’s also an interesting email exchange between Pascal and Brian Helgeland, screenwriter of the planned Cleopatra biopic, with Pascal suggesting that Helgeland dump Angelina Jolie in favor of Lawrence—an idea Helgeland says he’s given some thought to.
But the most troubling reveal concerning Lawrence is in regard to her financial compensation with hacked emails revealing that the Hunger Games star was compensated less than her male co-stars on American Hustle.
In an email dated December 5, 2013, Andrew Gumpert, President of Business Affairs and Administration for Columbia Pictures, wrote to Pascal and Doug Belgrad, President of SPE Motion Picture Group, about the “points”—or back-end compensation—that each actor was to receive on Hustle. (The “Amy” referred to is Amy Adams, “O'Russell” is director David O. Russell, “Renner” is Jeremy Renner, and “Megan” is Megan Ellison, head of Annapurna Pictures, which co-financed Hustle.)
“Got a steve warren/gretchen rush call that it’s unfair the male actors get 9% in the pool and jennifer is only at 7pts,” the email reads. “You may recall Jennifer was at 5 (amy was and is at 7) and WE anted in 2 extra points for Jennifer to get her up to 7. If anyone needs to top jennifer up it’s megan. BUT I think amy and Jennifer are tied so upping JL, ups AA.”
Gumpert added, “The current talent deals are: O’Russell: 9%; Cooper: 9%; Bale: 9%; Renner: 9%; Lawrence: 7%; Adams: 7%.”
Pascal’s email response to the news of Lawrence making less than her male colleagues—despite the fact that she’s far and away the biggest star of the picture, since Hustle was green-lit after The Hunger Games—was: “there is truth here.”
The news is even more troubling when you take into consideration that the hack also revealed a staggering gender pay gap among Sony staffers. According to a spreadsheet listing the salaries of 6,000 employees, 17 of those employees were raking in $1 million or more, but only one of those $1 million-plus employees is a woman. Also, analyzing the pay of the two co-presidents of production at Columbia Pictures—who have the same job—pointed to another gender-pay disparity, with Michael De Luca ($2.4 million) making almost $1 million more than Hannah Minghella ($1.5 million).