Benedict Cumberbatch Says He’ll Only Take New Projects If His Female Co-Stars Receive Equal Pay

Benedict Cumberbatch has committed to only taking on projects in which his female co-stars receive equal pay. In an interview with Radio Times, the “Avengers: Infinity War” actor calls pay equality a “central tenet of feminism” and says he’s “proud” to be only one of two men at his production company — something he’d like to see replicated elsewhere.

“It’s about implementation,” he says. “Equal pay and a place at the table are the central tenets of feminism. 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.’” Several high-profile examples of pay inequality between male and female co-stars have made headlines in recent months and years, ranging from projects like “The Crown” and “Westworld” to “Everybody Knows” and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”

“I’m proud that [friend and business partner] Adam 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 adds. “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. And, in terms of diversity, ‘Black Panther’ is now the third most successful film of all time.”

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Cumberbatch can currently be seen in “Avengers: Infinity War,” which may well surpass the box-office take of “Black Panther,” as well as the Showtime miniseries “Patrick Melrose.”