Tina Fey is one of the cutting edge comic minds of modern comedy, as well as the inspiration to many other female comics that have followed after her. Yet if you asked her about how the market treats its female talent, things haven't really gotten any better.
During an interview for her role in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Tina Fey talked to Town And Country about the rigorous process she and co-star Amy Poehler went through when doing press for Sisters. She explains their mutual frustration with a particular subject that recurred through their interviews in the remarks below:
Every single interviewer asked, ‘Isn’t this an amazing time for women in comedy?’ People really wanted us to be openly grateful – ‘Thank you so much!’ – and we were like, ‘No, it’s a terrible time…If you were to really look at it, the boys are still getting more money for a lot of garbage, while the ladies are hustling and doing amazing work for less.
An important thing to keep in mind is that Tina Fey isn't saying anything about the quality of the content that female comedians are putting out. If anything, Fey is saying that the continued pay gap between male and female performers is what's keeping the era that brought us such content as Girls, Broad City and even Sisters and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot to life. After all, it is kind of hard to enjoy putting out quality work when there's a systemic inequality so prevalent in the system, it's deemed a hot button issue when you mention it in an Academy Award acceptance speech.
The pay gap between male and female actors has been a topic of intense discussion as of late, with Jennifer Lawrence, Charlize Theron, and most recently Amy Adams all making news for their reactions to market factors that dictate reduced salaries. One would think that all of this conversation over the matter might make some sort of difference over time. Yet it seems that, at least for the moment, things are running like business as usual. Come to think of it, we're kind of wondering how much Tina Fey brought in for Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, and whether her position as the lead actor and one of the producers of the film may have wrangled her a better deal than most. The answer to that question will tell you whether 2016 has been kinder to female talent than it has in the recent past.
Hope still remains though, as Tina Fey went on to discuss how she and her fellow female peers in comedy are a tight knit bunch that like to help each other out as much as possible. With each success under their belts, there is further chance that the collective bargaining power of women in entertainment will grow stronger, eventually leading to the wage gap becoming a thing of the past. For now though, we'll just have to wait and see how well Whiskey Tango Foxtrot does at the box office, as it opens in theaters this Friday.