Equal pay has been a hotly debated topic in Hollywood in recent years. Many feel it shouldn't even be a debate and certain women in the business have really stepped up to make it clear that they deserve to be paid just as much as their male co-stars. Shameless star Emmy Rossum is one of those women and if Showtime wants an eighth season of the show, they are going to have to pay her at least as much, if not more than William H. Macy.
Variety recently released a report detailing the Shameless season 8 situation, noting that things are totally on hold until this get worked out with Emmy Rossum, but that is going to be easier said than done. According to the report, she has been offered Parity (equal pay) with William H. Macy, the co-lead of the show. However, by her estimation, according to the report, that isn't quite enough. Since she has been paid less than him for the duration of the show, she feels as though she should be paid even more than Macy in season 8 to make up for the past.
Emmy Rossum has been a co-lead on the successful Showtime series ever since it debuted in 2011. According to Variety's sources, she was offered equal pay to William H. Macy months ago, but she is holding out for more. The report also notes that the creative team behind the show has no plans to move ahead with Shameless season 8 if Emmy Rossum isn't on board, so if the deal can't get worked out, the future of the show could be very uncertain. But the desire is there from Showtime to continue on with the show, so it seems likely they will find a way to work it out.
Showtime and Warner Bros. TV, the studio behind the show, have yet to officially comment on the pay issue but a source close to Shameless did speak a bit with Variety. According to their report, the offer that was made to Emmy Rossum months ago is "clearly acknowledging her importance to the show" and that "It hasn't even been contemplated doing the show without her." They also reportedly take the income gap very seriously, which is why they have made their current offer to Rossum. At the moment, it doesn't seem like that is going to be enough.
It is completely understandable that Emmy Rossum wants equal pay and her dedication to it is admirable. There are more factors at play, though. William H. Macy is a more established actor outside Shameless and has been nominated for more awards for his work on the show, which is a big bargaining tool when it comes to pay on a series. In any case, Emmy Rossum is clearly taking a stand here, which is something we will probably be seeing more of in the future as women continue to fight for equal pay and recognition in the industry.