Gender inequality allegations — this time in the writing room — continue to plague The X-Files revival.
For the first season of the reboot, co-lead actor Gillian Anderson was vocal about her struggle to get paid the same amount as male co-star David Duchovny. Now, for the next season, the people writing episodes of the hit show are all men.
Turns out there will be six men — in tandem with (male) creator Chris Carter — writing the show’s 11th season, without a single woman to contribute.
Carter is bringing back ex-producers James Wong, Darin Morgan and Glen Morgan, each of whom wrote and directed one of Season 10’s episodes. (Carter himself helms the premieres and finales.) Joining the fray this season are three former assistants: Benjamin Van Allen, Brad Follmer and Gabe Rotter.
This sort of discrepancy isn’t new to the X-Files reboot; in early 2016, Anderson (Dana Scully) revealed that she was offered half of her co-star Duchovny’s (Fox Mulder) pay to return to the show, even though Scully and Mulder arguably have similar camera time.
To compound that problem, Anderson also revealed that it happened at the show’s outset too, over 20 years ago, when it came time for the pair to sign contracts. Duchovny was set to earn more than Anderson and according to the actress, in an interview with The Daily Beast, it took three years of hard work on the show for her to close the wage gap. Fox even insisted that Anderson stay a few steps behind Duchovny on camera when she first started.
“I can only imagine that at the beginning, they wanted me to be the sidekick,” Anderson said about the “rule” in the interview. “Or that, somehow, maybe it was enough of a change just to see a woman having this kind of intellectual repartee with a man on camera, and surely the audience couldn’t deal with actually seeing them walk side by side!”
Last year, Anderson was flabbergasted that the same gender issues were still a problem.
“I’m surprised that more [interviewers] haven’t brought that up because it’s the truth,” Anderson added about the pay disparity. “Especially in this climate of women talking about the reality of [unequal pay] in this business, I think it’s important that it gets heard and voiced. It was shocking to me, given all the work that I had done in the past to get us to be paid fairly. I worked really hard toward that and finally got somewhere with it.”
In the end, Anderson managed to secure equal pay to Duchovny’s.
The majority of the show is shot in Vancouver, with the rest shot in California. The series is expected to return with Season 11 in early 2018.
Fox, the parent channel of the show, nor Carter himself, have commented on the gender discrepancy as of this writing. Carter has said previously that he chose to stick with writers from the original series (for the most part) because he wanted to ensure that the revival matched the quality of the 1993 series.
“You don’t want to take a chance,” he said in 2016 pre-reboot. “If it didn’t work you’d be sunk, because there is no way to recover if someone wrote a script and it didn’t work. The clock is ticking. The clock is always ticking in series television. You don’t have a chance to make a mistake.”