Why Are Women in Skilled Hollywood Jobs Making $16 an Hour?

Script and production coordinators, usually women, earn below the living wage in Los Angeles, says IATSE Local 871

If Hollywood is serious about diversity and equity, Marisa Shipley says the industry needs to get serious about how it pays the women that rank among the industry’s lowest-earning workers on film and TV sets.

Shipley is an art department coordinator (ADC) who has worked for 18 years on TV shows like ABC’s “Roseanne,” and serves as the vice president of IATSE Local 871, which represents ADCs along with art production coordinators, writers assistants and script coordinators. These positions, while not as high-profile as department heads or writers rooms, are key positions in productions and can help find the next generation of screenwriters and production designers. They are also positions predominantly held by women.

Shipley says that a study commissioned in 2018 by IATSE 871 called “Reel Equity” shows that workers in these positions are paid on average about $16-17 per hour — below the living wage rate in Los Angeles — even with years of experience. It’s also a hard reality that Shipley herself has dealt with despite many years of experience in the business.

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Jeremy Fuster

Box Office Reporter • jeremy.fuster@thewrap.com • Twitter: @jeremyfuster