Scarlett Johansson has reportedly signed on to star as Black Widow in an upcoming superhero movie for $15 million, equal the amount earned by male colleagues in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Johansson’s paycheck matches those of Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth in both Avengers: Infinity War and their own standalone movies, Captain America: Civil War and Thor: Ragnarok.
The Reporter noted that Johansson’s standalone debut was significantly more lucrative than other male Marvel actors. It said Robert Downy Jr. earned $500,000 for first appearance as Iron Man 10 years ago, and more recently, Chadwick Boseman earned $2 million for his debut as Black Panther earlier this year. However, Johansson arrives at her solo outing having already played the character in six movies so far.
A spokesperson for Marvel told the Reporter that Marvel “disputes the accuracy of these numbers, and as a matter of policy, we never publicly disclose salaries or deal terms.”
Johansson’s hefty paycheck was hailed as a symbolic win for women in Hollywood, who have become increasingly vocal about gender inequality, in the wake of the “Me Too” uprising spawned by horror stories of Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein and other serial harassers in the entertainment industry.
The Weinstein case — along with those of Kevin Spacey, CBS’s Les Moonves, Amazon Studios’ Roy Price, and many others — prompted women in Hollywood to form Time’s Up, an initiative to advocate for gender parity in executive ranks and legal defense aid for sexual harassment victims.
On Friday, actress Natalie Portman called for change throughout the industry while being honored for her humanitarian efforts in co-founding Time’s Up at the Variety magazine’s Power of Women luncheon.
In a 15-minute speech, Portman addressed the underrepresentation of women in all industries and laid out guidelines to incite change, such as donating to Time’s Up, opting against depicting violence against women in films, and hiring women for positions they’re not typically considered for.
Natalie Portman explains some steps to help women, including donating to #TimesUp. Watch her full speech here: https://t.co/MPBxPQM6Pr #PowerofWomen presented by @lifetimetv pic.twitter.com/hEFqBQeZqw
— Variety (@Variety) October 13, 2018
“Be embarrassed if everyone in your workplace looks like you,” she said.
Portman said Weinstein is “still free” because “our culture protects the perpetrators of sexual violence, not its victims.” She added that the Time’s Up defense fund has served more than 3,500 people from “workers at McDonald’s to prison guards to military personnel to women in our own industry who have faced gender-based harassment, coercion, and assault.”
AP contributed to this report.