The plot thickens in the mysterious tale of Ruth Wilson’s departure from The Affair.
Months after the actress admitted that she believed she was paid less than her co-star Dominic West, West has gone on the record saying that he had had no idea about a wage gap between them.
West told the U.K.’s Radio Times that he “never [asks] what the money is on a show. It was more a question of if I wanted to do it.” But now, four seasons into the acclaimed drama, Wilson’s comments about a pay disparity “woke me up to the issue. I never realized the disparity and the injustice.”
Back in February, Wilson told Radio Times that “I definitely get less money than a male in my situation would. Definitely.” Elaborating about whether she had a lower salary than West specifically, she said, “I think so. Certainly, when I signed up to that project, I would have got paid less. Then they might argue, ‘Well, he’s already done a major American TV show [The Wire], so he’s already got a level.’ But even after a Golden Globe, I’m not going to be on parity.”
She admitted that she didn’t know the numbers but expressed her conviction that “he definitely gets more than me.” It’s not hard to believe that he does; The Crown’s now-infamous disparity and Emmy Rossum’s fight for equality on Shameless both come to mind as confirmed high-profile TV wage gaps.
In August, fans were stunned when Wilson’s character Alison was killed off the show in the third-to-last episode of season 4; following Alison’s shocking death, the actress appeared on CBS This Morning and shed very little light on the reasons for her departure.
“I did want to leave, but I’m not allowed to talk about why,” she told Gayle King, adding that she’d “never complained to Showtime about pay parity.” Showtime responded with the statement, “We can’t speak for Ruth, but heading into season 4, everyone agreed the character’s story had run its course. Ultimately, it felt like the most powerful creative decision would be to end Alison’s arc at the moment when she had finally achieved self-empowerment.”
The Affair will return for its fifth and final season in 2019.
- 20 actresses who spoke out about pay inequality
- True Blood alum Anna Paquin joining The Affair as Alison’s daughter for final season
Two marriages collide when a tragedy brings an affair to light; the Showtime original series stars Joshua Jackson and Maura Tierney.