HBO has ‘corrected’ pay disparities between male, female stars, exec says

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HBO’s president of programming Casey Bloys said the cable network has eliminated “inappropriate disparities in pay” between the male and female stars of all of its shows in response to the “Time’s Up” movement. 

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“We’ve proactively gone through all of our shows — in fact, we just finished our process where we went through and made sure that there were no inappropriate disparities in pay; and where there were, if we found any, we corrected it going forward,” Bloys told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published Tuesday. “And [that is] a direct result of the Time’s Up movement.”

Actress Reese Witherspoon, who produces and stars in the award-winning HBO series “Big Little Lies,” is a leading figure in the “Time’s Up” movement, which aims to address gender-based pay inequality, harassment and other issues impacting women in media. Bloys said the decision to address pay disparity arose through conversations with Witherspoon, who, along with co-star Nicole Kidman, is set to earn about $1 million per episode for the show’s upcoming second season.

Bloys declined to provide specific examples of pay disparities that required correction. HBO’s lineup of hit shows also includes “Game of Thrones,” “Westworld,” “Silicon Valley” and “Veep.” Under Bloys’s leadership, HBO has placed an increased emphasis on developing series written by, directed by and starring women.

“When you're putting a show together, people come in with different levels of experience and maybe some people have won awards or something that makes them stand out,” Bloys said. “But when you get into season two or three of a show and the show is a success, it is much harder to justify paying people wildly disparate numbers, and that's where you have to make sure that you're looking at the numbers — that they don't end up just on the path they were on from the pilot stage.”

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