Liam Hemsworth appeared to be ignorant about Jennifer Lawrence’s viral essay “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co‑Stars?” which criticizes gender inequality in the film industry, though he calls his co-star his “best friend.”
Hemsworth, who appeared on the talk show The Project to promote his new film, The Dressmaker, didn’t seemed concerned over the outrage women are feeling from the recently hacked Sony list, releasing internal information that illustrates the discrepancy of payment in regards to men and women in Hollywood.
Lawrence recently composed a public essay, asking why producers deem her not as worthy as her male co-stars, and discusses issues that women in the workplace have been facing for years. One of those is the fear of being labelled as a “brat” for demanding equality. Another, more specific to Hollywood, is the fear of being black-balled by producers if a women is deemed taxing in the workplace.
If Hemsworth and Lawrence are as close as they portray themselves to be in the media, it seems doubtful that Hemsworth had no idea Lawrence she had shared her personal story of inequality.
During the interview on The Project, hosts Carrie Bickmore, Peter Hellier, Waleed Aly and Chris Bath each took their turn to stroke Hemsworth’s ego to the point that it became uncomfortable; Bickmore gushed over the privilege of sharing the same oxygen as the actor (seriously), and each host tittered at every bland answer given, seeming as though they were each waiting in line for a turn at the school dance.
It is frustrating that Hemsworth, along with many other men in the media, avoided an opportunity, and perhaps even his responsibility of providing a meaningful response to the issue of discrimination to the hosts and viewers, seemingly because of his debatable charm. Hellier began the conversation:
“Is it true you and Josh [Hutcherson] made ten times more than Jennifer Lawrence [during the Hunger Games]?”
Hemsworth joked: “We teamed up and squeezed her out of the equation…”
Bickmore interjects: “Good on her for standing up for it, I thought her comments were spot on…”
“…What did she say?” Hemsworth asks, hesitantly.
“She was talking about the pay…” was all that was distinguishable before Bickmore dissolves into laughter.
“I think she got paid alright.” Hemsworth finishes, and the interview is over.
It is unfortunate that there was no push for a serious answer that encompasses the gravity of the situation for women. And what is most infuriating is his lack of concern for the issue that is being laughed over. The hosts all share the blame for preventing any serious discourse with their lack of professionalism; they behave like overstimulated contest winners on the Oscar Awards Red Carpet, never having encountered a celebrity before.