Benedict Cumberbatch's Rule For Accepting Roles Sets An Important Example For Male Actors

"Equal pay and a place at the table are the central tenets of feminism."

British actor Benedict Cumberbatch is using his power as an in-demand star to secure an equal playing field with his female colleagues. The actor shared in a recent interview that he will only accept roles if his female co-stars are paid equally, and argues that other men in Hollywood should follow suit.

"Equal pay and a place at the table are the central tenets of feminism," Cumberbatch told Radio Times magazine of the decision. "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 is also making a difference through his production company, SunnyMarch, by employing women and telling women's stories on screen.

"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," Cumberbatch shared. "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!"

As those on social media pointed out, the Doctor Strange star sets an important example for how men can use their privilege to ensure equal opportunities for their colleagues. His comments come at a relevent moment in the industry, as projects such as Netflix's The Crown have made headlines for failing to pay their male and female stars equally.

Jessica Chastain also recently demonstrated how White actresses can take a stand for their non-White co-stars. She teamed up with Octavia Spencer in negotiations for their upcoming film to ensure they were paid equally. "Fast forward to last week, we're making five times what we asked for. Now, I wanna go to what the men are making!" Spencer said.

In response, Chastain tweeted that male actors should do the same for their female co-stars. Now Cumberbatch is showing how it's done.

(H/T: Mashable)

Cover image: Tinseltown /


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.