After waiting almost a decade for the reunion of Agents Mulder and Scully, The X-Files is finally returning to fans’ television screens on Sunday. Stars Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny are seemingly thrilled to be back to work on the iconic series, but it hasn’t always been easy going. While they may be partners and equals on screen, Anderson has had to fight tooth and nail for equal pay since day one. She recently sat down with The Daily Beast and opened up about her struggles for equality, which started back in the ’90s.
Anderson explained that when the show first started, she wasn’t even supposed to stand side by side with Duchovny while in frame, instead always being a few steps back. Apparently, Scully was supposed to be more of a sidekick than a partner, but Anderson’s no-nonsense approach and strong performance made that an impossibility. Despite the accolades for her work, it took Anderson three years to receive the same paycheck as her male co-star during the show’s initial run.
“I have such a knee-jerk reaction to that stuff, a very short tolerance for that sh*t,” she says acidly. “I don’t know how long it lasted or if it changed because I eventually said, ‘F*ck no! No!’ I don’t remember somebody saying, ‘Okay, now you get to walk alongside him.’ But I imagine it had more to do with my intolerance and spunk than it being an allowance that was made.”
While it would be nice to think that this issue would have been a thing of the past, that’s simply not the case. When Anderson was initially approached to do the revival series, she was offered only half of what Duchovny was going to be paid.
“Especially in this climate of women talking about the reality of [unequal pay] in this business, I think it’s important that it gets heard and voiced. It was shocking to me, given all the work that I had done in the past to get us to be paid fairly. I worked really hard toward that and finally got somewhere with it.”
Anderson was clearly disturbed by her treatment by the studio, calling the whole situation “sad.” Luckily, the situation was remedied and the two leads ended up receiving equal pay. Still, it is a shame that such a talented and celebrated actress was treated so unfairly. It’s a good reminder that while there is some progress regarding the sexism in Hollywood, it is still alive and well.
(Via The Daily Beast)