Millions of fans of the Sci Fi show “The X-Files” are overjoyed with the fact that the remake begins tonight on the Fox network. It’s time, once again, for Mulder and Scully and, yes, it’s the beloved duo of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. But according to CNN on January 23, Gillian Anderson was up against old prejudices and had to fight the same old fight before it had even begun.
What’s the same old fight? Wage equality, something feminists have struggled for since the 1970s. Not everyone realizes that Gillian Anderson was paid much less than David Duchovny on the original show until she fought for her rights as co-star.
Anderson fought the good fight and won for the original series. When it ended, the two stars were paid the same. However, much to her shock, when she was approached to co-star in the 2016 remake, she was offered half the salary being offered to Duchovny.
As you can imagine, that did not sit well with Gillian Anderson. And while she was originally hired as a lesser character in the original series, someone to debunk the work of UFO investigator Fox Mulder, she rose in the series to be his equal. And then she had to fight for three years to be his equal in the paycheck department.
This is really not news in Hollywood. Actresses are now speaking out about being paid less than male co-stars. Jennifer Lawrence, one of Hollywood’s favorite up and coming young stars, claims she was paid less than her male co-stars on the movie “American Hustle” and recently blasted the establishment about it. She says it’s time for her to stop being “adorable” when it comes to negotiating.
In addition to the unequal pay issue, Gillian Anderson told The Daily Beast that in the early days of “The X-Files” she was required to stand behind David Duchovny on camera, giving him prominence. “Maybe it was enough of a change just to see a woman having this kind of intellectual repartee with a man on camera, and surely the audience couldn’t deal with actually seeing them walk side by side!”
How does Gillian Anderson really feel about all of this? She states that fans tell her they just can’t believe it, that it’s insane. Her standard response was, “That was then, this is now.” But sadly, some things never change, or at least not as fast as we’d like them to.
Eventually, Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny had pay equality on the original series. And now they are fully equal on the remake. The question remains, though, why did she have to fight for it? And she had to fight not once, but twice. It seems that in Hollywood, the more some things change, the more others actually stay the same.
“The X-Files” premiere, Part 1, airs on Sunday, January 24, at 10 p.m. eastern time. This is a special day and time. Part 2 of “The X-Files” premiere will air on Fox at 8 p.m., Monday, January 25.