HBO has found itself in a little bit of hot water … or at least one of their executives has over some comments that were made recently about the Big Little Lies season 2 salaries for Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and the rest of the cast.
Let’s start things off here by describing more of how we got to this point in the first place. Because of the first season of the series being billed as a seven-episode limited series, there were no deals in place for any of the actors to continue the show. With that said, the network is having to pay more of the going rate for some of these actors. That’s not cheap. This in turn led to HBO’s co-drama head Francesca Orsi making the following comments (per Deadline) while at the INTV conference in Jerusalem:
“From a budget standpoint going into season two of Big Little Lies without any options in place we’ve been… um… short of raped.”
How do you make that sort of comments, let alone on a show that features rape as a key part of the story? It was such a bizarre thing to say, even if there is some frustration from a network point of view regarding the lack of advance negotiation that led to them having to pay out through the nose to keep the show going. Given all of the money HBO routinely makes, you know that they are still able to afford it.
Anyhow, it shouldn’t come as much of a shock that Orsi also issued an apology this week for the nature of her comments:
“Obviously, I am embarrassed by my poor choice of words … We are extremely proud of Big Little Lies and excited for the second season.”
It’s doubtful that we’re going to see an much more dialogue moving forward regarding the Big Little Lies cast salaries — we really shouldn’t. Even if some of these women are highly-paid now, remember the pay gap in Hollywood and the years when they were likely underpaid versus their male counterparts.
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