Fans of The Last of Us were up in arms when it was revealed that Pedro Pascal was paid 750 percent more than co-star Bella Ramsey.
The two appeared as Joel and Ellie in the blockbuster HBO series, an adaptation of the Naughty Dog game that follows a smuggler as he transports a teenage girl through a post-apocalyptic America.
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The result was one of the best video game adaptations in years, if not ever, with a season finale that drew a whopping 8.2 million viewers across all HBO platforms.
The project was significant for the entertainment conglomerate, which reportedly spent between $10 and $15 million per episode.
According to a number of outlets, its two principal actors were also paid well – though not equally.
While it was never proven, a 2021 Variety rumor suggested that Pascal was paid $600,000 each episode for his role as Joel.
Ramsey, on the other hand, is believed to have received a fraction of that sum. While she was not included in the Variety report for comparison, Showbiz Galore reported that she earned $70,000 for each installment.
Of course, $70,000 isn’t a terrible payday (especially when you’ve got nine episodes totaling $630,000), but fans couldn’t help but notice the disparity between it and Pascal’s remuneration, which allegedly represents a 757 percent rise.
Some Twitter users argued that Pedro Pascal was a bigger and more established star than Ramsey, implying that the raise was reasonable.
Others, however, pointed out that they both lead the series and that Ramsey was a big figure from Game of Thrones.
“If that’s the real gap, it’s pretty wide; Bella was also a big name on GOT and a hugely popular character,” one tweeted. I believe he should earn more because he most likely brought his experience to every scenario, but Bella also did an amazing job.
“I guess Bella was more interchangeable than Pedro at casting.”
Someone else said: “I do think she should be paid a lot more next season but to be fair he is a veteran actor who has a lot more experience and she is just getting her breakthrough.”
Another wrote: “Well that’s what happens when one actor has 30 years of experience and some major roles, and the other is somebody whose name and face I’ve never heard or seen in my life.”
A fourth added: “Pay people the same money for the same work? To everyone arguing Pedro Pascal is more established, would you want your (male) coworker who has worked at the company 30 years longer but does the same work as you to be paid more? No? That‘s what we call gender pay gap.”
We reached out to representatives for Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey for comment, as well as HBO.