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Benedict Cumberbatch to refuse future roles if women don't get equal pay

"Sherlock" and "Doctor Strange" star Benedict Cumberbatch is taking a stand for pay equality in Hollywood.

In a recent interview with Radio Times magazine, the Academy Award-nominated actor said, "Equal pay and a place at the table are the central tenets of feminism."

Photo: Jessica Fontana

He urged producers to look at their quotas. "Ask what women are being paid, and say: 'If she’s not paid the same as the men, I’m not doing it.'"

Cumberbatch said he plans to use his new production company, SunnyMarch, to promote and encourage more female-focused dramas.

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"I’m proud that [partner] Adam [Ackland] and I are the only men in our production company; our next project is a female story with a female lens about motherhood, in a time of environmental disaster. If it’s centred around my name, to get investors, then we can use that attention for a raft of female projects. Half the audience is female!" he said.

Hollywood's pay gap was brought under the spotlight in January this year thanks to the "All the Money in the World" controversy, which revealed that Michele Williams was paid less than one-tenth of 1 percent of what Mark Wahlberg commissioned.

After the backlash, Wahlberg agreed to donate $1.5 million to the Time's Up initiative.

About the Author

Fiza Pirani is a web producer and writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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