In May, the actresses revealed during a press event for the comedy that they found out they were making the same salary as their male co-stars Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston — even though the two women are the leads on the show, with their characters’ names in the title, and their co-stars are supporting players.
“That doesn’t make us happy,” Fonda said.
“No. The show is not ‘Sol and Robert’ — it’s ‘Grace and Frankie,'” Tomlin added.
Fonda and Tomlin play the titular “Grace and Frankie,” who bond after discovering their husbands — Sheen and Waterston — are not only gay, but leaving them for each other.
One month later, the conversation over the pay disparity is still going so strong that fans are flocking to sign a Care2 petition asking Netflix “to remedy the pay disparity between Tomlin and Fonda and their male supporting actors.”
“If famous actors like Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin can’t escape sexist pay, what does that say about the plight of other women working throughout the country?” Emily Logan, Care2 petition author and Care2 director of acquisition and retention, said in a statement. “By bringing attention even to high-profile individuals suffering from pay unfairness, hopefully we can show Netflix and employers across the nation that they must set standards in which pay doesn’t hinge on an employee’s gender.”
The revelation came to light at a time when pay disparity for women in Hollywood has become a hot button issue, thanks in large part to the Sony hacking, with e-mails revealing such instances as Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams making less than their male counterparts in “American Hustle.”
The “Grace and Frankie” petition is close to reaching its goal of 8,000 signatures with 7,232 people having signed thus far. The petition addresses “Grace and Frankie” executive producers Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris, as well as Netflix VP of original series Cindy Holland.
The show is produced by Skydance Television for Netflix. Executive producers for the series are Kauffman (through her company Okay Goodnight), Morris, Paula Weinstein, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Marcy Ross, as well as Fonda and Tomlin.