Back in January, Octavia Spencer revealed her co-star from The Help, Jessica Chastain, used her privilege to create a "favored nations," which tied their salaries together after she learned how much less Spencer was earning than her. Because of that, Spencer made five times her salary.
"I shared a personal story [with Chastain] about what [financial] success has meant for me and most women of color in comparison to our white counterparts," explained Spencer in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "I told her about the gross disparity in our salaries. She provided a much-needed shoulder and listened. And then she did what she always does: She took up my cause and made it her own. As a friend, she's your biggest cheerleader; but as a colleague, she's your most vocal advocate."
But the cause seemed like a no-brainer to Chastain, who told THR about the bold move.
"Your silence is your discrimination," she said. "So if you are succeeding in an environment where there is discrimination, you are actively being discriminatory. I knew women of color got paid less than Caucasian actresses. What I didn't know is someone of Octavia's level, who had an Oscar and two Oscar nominations, how much less she would be getting paid. When she told me what she was making, that's what really made me go, 'Hold up, that doesn't compute in my brain.'"
Women of color are still disproportionately getting paid less and are hired less than white actresses, but efforts like "favored nations" and inclusion riders will hopefully put an end to the discriminatory practice sooner than later.