Stark difference | Game of Thrones star reveals HBO show's gender pay gap

Game of Thrones star reveals HBO show's gender pay gap

Sophie Turner, who portrays Sansa Stark in HBO’s Game of Thrones series, has revealed that she is paid less than half of some of her actor colleagues.

Turner makes circa £130,000 per episode yet some colleagues are pocketing a whopping £380,000 for each instalment.

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Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar, Turner confirmed that Kit Harington, the actor who portrays Jon Snow, is paid substantially more than her.

Yet, this doesn’t seem to bother Turner.

“For the last series, he had something crazy like 70 night shoots, and I didn’t have that many,” Turner told Harper’s Bazaar. “I was like, 'You know keep that money.'”

However, she isn’t against equal pay. She said that she’s glad the conversations about pay are being had more for with those in charge of remuneration are “more willing to listen to people saying, 'I want the same amount of money.’”

However, a Variety survey in 2017 did reveal that leading stars, regardless of gender, got equal pay.  Emilia Clarke (Daenerys), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion), Harington (Jon Snow) and Lena Headey (Cersei) apparently made the exact same amount per episode in season seven: approximately £380,000.

Yet, not all leading ladies seem to be getting the same. Maisie Williams, who acts as Arya Stark, is also said to make the same lower amount than other actors. Both her and Turner have significant roles throughout the series.

Current state of the gender pay gap

In the UK, a quarter of companies and public sector bodies have a pay gap of more than 20% in favour of men.

Furthermore, the pay gap has only shrunk by 0.1% since 2017.

Almost eight in 10 companies still pay their male employees more, leading one MP to say Britain still has a “long way to go” to tackle the gap.

Gender pay gap at big firms has also got worse. Over the last year, fewer than half of the country’s biggest employers have succeeded in narrowing their gender pay gap.

In fact, across 45% of firms, the discrepancy in pay increased in favour of men, while at a further seven per cent there was no change. 

Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, said: "Big employers clearly aren't doing enough to tackle the root causes of pay inequality and working women are paying the price.

"Government needs to crank up the pressure."

"Companies shouldn't just be made to publish their gender pay gaps, they should be legally required to explain how they'll close them. And bosses who flout the law should be fined."

"We can't allow another generation of women to spend their whole working lives waiting to be paid the same as men."

Recently, BBC news presenter Fiona Bruce, who chairs Question Time, revealed that at one time a BBC boss said she did not need a pay rise because she had a boyfriend.

Since 2017, companies with more than 250 employees are required to report their gender pay gap.

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