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Octavia Spencer Thanks Jessica Chastain For Standing With Her on Pay Equality

1010 WINS- Actress Octavia Spencer has fellow screen star Jessica Chastain to thank for being able to command five times more salary on the pair's most recent film project.

Octavia and Jessica Thumb - Dan MacMedan-USA TODAY NETWORK
Octavia Spencer + Jessica Chastain (Dan MacMedan-USA TODAY NETWORK)

Spencer is best known for her role in 2011's The Help, which also featured Chastain, which she took home the Academy Award, Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA, and Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress.

On a panel about women breaking barriers hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, Spencer revealed that Chastain negotiated her being paid the same amount for their upcoming film, by making the two leading ladies a bundle.

"Women Breaking Barriers" Panel - Sundance 2018 by Golden Globes on YouTube

When Chastain, an outspoken proponent of equal pay in Hollywood, learned that Spencer would be paid markedly less than herself simply because she was a black woman, Chastain stepped in to broker a "favored nations" deal, leading to Spencer getting paid five times what she originally asked.

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Spencer's emotional statement shows how much the pay increase meant to her, and the hope gives to other women and women of color.

Jessica commented on the video, writing on Twitter, "she had been underpaid for so long. When I discovered that, I realized that I could tie her deal to mine to bring up her quote. Men should start doing this with their female costars."

Octavia also clarified on Twitter, "this is correct except I should clarify that I am making 5x my salary bc Jessica stood with me. I don't know what or if it cost her anything as far as her rate, I just know she stood with me, and am eternally grateful."

-Kayla Jardine/Joe Cingrana

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