How Benedict Cumberbatch is taking a stand for gender pay equality

Posted by
Harvey Day
Cumberbatch 1

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch has explained how he insists on pay equality for his film and TV projects 

We all got a very public look into the fight for equal pay in the entertainment business back in March when Three Billboards star Frances McDormand rocked up on the Oscars stage and told us all about inclusion riders – contractual diversity clauses – and why they are so important.

“Look around, ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed,” she said.

And one person who is putting this push for gender equality into concrete action is Sherlock legend Benedict Cumberbatch.

How Benedict Cumberbatch is taking a stand for gender pay equality

Cumberbatch with his Patrick Melrose co-stars Allison Williams and Jennifer Jason Leigh

In a new interview Radio Times, the 41-year-old actor explained how he insists on equal pay before agreeing to sign up for new project.

He said: “Equal pay and a place at the table are the central tenets of feminism.

“Look at your quotas. Ask what women are being paid, and say: ‘If she’s not paid the same as the men, I’m not doing it.’”

“I’m proud that [partner] Adam [Ackland] and I are the only men in our production company; our next project is a female story with a female lens about motherhood, in a time of environmental disaster. If it’s centred around my name, to get investors, then we can use that attention for a raft of female projects. Half the audience is female!” he added. 

Fantastic stuff Sherlock!

You can see Cumberbatch now in Sky Atlantic’s Patrick Melrose, a five-part series based on the novels by Edward St Aubyn following playboy Melrose as he deals with the legacy of his traumatic childhood and substance abuse.

Cumberbatch is most definitely at his paranoid, manic best in the new show.

(Images: Marvel / Getty)