(NEW YORK) — Hollywood actresses have complained for years about the lack of roles as they get older, and now they have something else to be unhappy about. A new study finds that female movie stars earn less money per film when they get older, unlike their male counterparts.
A study published this week in the Journal of Management Inquiry finds that while female movie stars make more money than actors when they are 34 years old, their earnings drop rapidly after that. Researchers found that the earnings of male stars increase as they age.
The study analyzed the salaries of 265 film actors and actresses who starred in movies from 1968 to 2008.
The researchers note that roles for older female stars are limited and that puts more pressure on them to maintain a youthful look.
“Men’s well-worn faces are thought to convey maturity, character and experience. A woman’s face, on the other hand, is valued for appearing young,” the study’s authors note.
Timothy Judge, a management professor at the University of Notre Dame and one of the study’s lead authors, told the USA TODAY Network, the situation in Hollywood is “a microcosm of what happens in society.” Judge believes the disparity exists because “We are such an appearance-based society.”
Sixty-four-year-old Meryl Streep is probably an exception. She just received her 18th Academy Award nomination for her role in August: Osage County.
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