Maggie Gyllenhaal Felt ''Guilty'' Receiving Equal Pay as James Franco

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Maggie Gyllenhaalis revealing why she felt “guilty” about earning equal pay compared to The Deuce costar James Franco

It turns out that years of earning less pay can make women feel like their work holds less value. Maggie had this “interesting” realization when she learned that she would be earning the same wage as her co- star and producer James Franco. The Donnie Darko actress tells SiriusXM Insight host John Fugelsang, “Out of the blue I got a phone call saying that HBO was going to significantly raise my salary. I am going to be totally honest here: The first feeling I had was, I felt kind of guilty.”

“Like I thought, ‘I just had this windfall? Wait, that’s not fair.’ That’s where I’m brainwashed,” the actress says of her initial reaction. “I’m like, ‘I don’t deserve this.'” Gyllenhaal adds that she always thought James was “way more bankable” than her, hence the previous pay disparity. 

“That’s what I’ve been told for my entire career,” Maggie says.

Courtesy of The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort

But it’s 2020 and it didn’t take long—she says it took “maybe a day”—for the star to realize that she does deserve a better salary. Now, Maggie knows, “No, no, no, this is payback for a long time, when have I ever been paid the same as my male costar? It took me awhile to kind of clear my head.” 

Gyllenhaal says that brainwashed or not, she thinks she was just trying to justify a “confused logic.” 

It’s about time women begin to earn equal pay considering that the top ten highest-paid actors of 2019 were all men. 

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