By: Taylor Brooks
In December, Showtime’s hit series “Shameless” prepared for its season finale having fans on edge waiting to hear about the show’s renewal. Star of the show Emmy Rossum put the show’s renewal to a halt to negotiate her contract for she had been earning a considerably lower amount compared to co-star and acting vet William H. Macy.
After seven seasons of the show, Rossum realized that with her being the main character of the show it was time for her to earn equal, if not more than Macy’s earnings resulting in a pay standoff. The terms of the new contract are unknown, but it’s fair to say that Rossum won in some sorts because the show has since been renewed, returning to screens this year. This is just one example of the gender pay gap issues that have been in the news this past year. As of 2015, female full-time workers made only 80 cents for every dollar earned by men making a gender pay gap of 20 percent.
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 was the first bill signed by Pres. Barack Obama stating equal pay amongst men and women. Delaware State University’s Ethics in Media Law Professor Dr. Edelin said the law is the same as driving the speed limit. “The law says you should drive the speed limit, but does everyone drive the speed limit? No, which means they get a ticket,” Dr. Edelin said. “The same goes with any other law, everyone doesn’t follow all the laws even though they should.” The Ledbetter Act states that men and women should be paid the same, but everyone doesn’t which can lead to a lawsuit. It only takes one person to fight for equal pay at their place of employment to win equal pay for him or herself and their coworkers.
Sophomore Sean Jones said he’s constantly had this conversation with his uncle who is a lawyer. “The bottom line is it’s not fair,” Jones said. “I have so many women in my family and it has been a long journey for them all going way back to my great, great, great, grandmothers.”