Can we talk about Amy Pascal's advice to women about pay and self-worth?

Feb 12, 2015 at 1:31 p.m. ET
Image: Brian To/WENN.com

It's no secret that former cochairwoman Amy Pascal was left embarrassed by the Sony Pictures Entertainment hacking ordeal that happened in November, but she's finally opening up about it.

Last week, the news was announced that Pascal would be stepping down from her role in the company, and now she's addressing the backlash that she's faced, and confirmed that she has been fired.

During an interview with journalist Tina Brown at Wednesday's Women in the World conference in San Francisco, California, Pascal revealed that she had been fired when she stated, "All the women here are doing incredible things in this world. All I did was get fired."

She then went on to address one of the issues that landed her in trouble, the leaked payroll data that emerged during the hack showing that female actors were making less money than their male counterparts. Jennifer Lawrence was one of them; the Oscar-winning actress reportedly received much less pay than her male American Hustle costars. So, how does Pascal justify that?

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"I've paid [Jennifer Lawrence] a lot more money since then, I promise you," Pascal began, according to Recode. "Here's the problem: I run a business. People want to work for less money, I pay them less money... Women shouldn't work for less money. They should know what they're worth. Women shouldn't take less. 'Stop, you don't need the job that bad.'"

Pascal was running a business, we get that. We also get what she's saying about knowing what you're worth, but her comments are pretty naive. Hollywood is a cutthroat industry and actors and actresses work their butts off to even get auditions — when they finally do get a role, are they really going to walk away from it? No, they are going to be grateful for the job, which they do need that bad, because it is their livelihood.

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Sure, it's all well and good saying that you should know your worth, and that people (women in particular) should not work for less money, but if one woman walks away from a role, there are thousands of others who will take it. It is a vicious cycle and that is why steps need to be taken to ensure that people are being paid fairly and equally, based on their talent and their experience — not their gender.

Tell us what you think of Amy Pascal's comments.

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