HAIM isn’t taking any shit from anyone. After learning that they were paid a tenth of what a man earned to perform at a music festival last year, the sisters banded together and took matters into their own hands. In an interview with Grazia, the three HAIM sisters, Danielle, Alana, and Este, opened up about their experience with sexism and why they’re still unsure on how to protect themselves from pay inequality.
HAIM’s encounter with pay inequality happened last year when they were hired to perform at a music festival. Noticing that their rate was lower than expected, HAIM’s agent explained to them that the music festival performance would lead to radio plays and eventually, a greater payoff. Not thinking anything of it, HAIM agreed to the rate and was content with it, until learning later that they were paid a tenth of what a male performer earned.
To make matters worse, HAIM was only one space lower than the man on the festival’s lineup, meaning that the two performers were relatively equal in success and fame. Immediately, the sisters fired their agent to set up the deal.
“We had been told that our fee was very low because you played at the festival in the hope that you’d get played on the radio,” Danielle said “We didn’t think twice about it, but we later found out that someone was getting paid 10 times more than us. And because of that we fired our agent.”
Alana added, “That’s why I love my sisters so much. I trust them with my fucking life. We’re all in this together. But it’s scary out there and it’s fucked up. It’s fucked up not even to be paid half the same amount. But to be paid a tenth of that amount of money? It was insane.”
However, HAIM’s real-life encounter with pay inequality doesn’t mean that they’re confident on how to protect themselves in the future. As Danielle explained, many financial details are kept secret, which means that it’s difficult to know when you’re being cheated. “It’s so hard to check: everything’s so secretive about how much people are getting paid, and that’s bullshit,” Danielle said.
The sisters of HAIM join a growing list of women in Hollywood, including Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, and Bryce Dallas Howard, who have spoken out against the entertainment industry’s sexism and pay disparity. It a slow and steady climb, but hopefully with more women using their voices against sexism, the industry will take note and make an effective change.