While the debate over equal pay in Hollywood continues, Benedict Cumberbatch is making it clear where he stands. In an interview with Radio Times, Cumberbatch said that he wouldn’t take on a role where his female co-star wasn't being paid the same rate. “Equal pay and a place at the table are the central tenets of feminism,” he said. “Look at your 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 also said he hopes that his production company, SunnyMarch, which he runs with Adam Ackland, will produce more films with women at the forefront. “I’m proud that Adam and I are the only men in our production company,” he said. “Our next project is a female story with a female lens about motherhood, in a time of environmental disaster. If it’s centered around my name, to get investors, then we can use that attention for a raft of female projects. Half the audience is female!”
Other men in Hollywood, including Michael B. Jordan, Matt Damon, and Ben Affleck, have begun to tackle the issue of gender inequality in the industry. While accepting her Oscar for best actress this year, Frances McDormand used her speech to promote an oft-forgotten contract amendment, the inclusion rider, which allows actors to request at least 50 percent diversity for the cast and crew.