Matthew Weiner Says His High Salary Isn't A 'Gender Issue'

'Mad Men' Creator Says His High Salary Isn't A 'Gender Issue'

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner secured a near-$30 million payday for the final three seasons of his hit series, but he told HuffPost Live on Wednesday that being a man had nothing to do with his lucrative deal.

During a conversation about Weiner's new film "Are You Here," host Ricky Camilleri asked about "Orange Is The New Black" creator Jenji Kohan's comments in The Hollywood Reporter about pay inequality in Hollywood:

I don't think I'm getting paid as much as the men in my position, still, and it's extremely frustrating. ... It's hard when one of your best friends is Matt [Weiner]. ... I don't begrudge him for one second; it's more of just, 'Why am I not making that?'

Weiner's response: "I don't think that's a gender issue."

The man behind "Mad Men" said he had to fight tooth and nail during his own contract negotiations.

"In terms of my career, if Jenji wants to go through what I went through to get that...," he said, trailing off. "They didn't invite me over to the smoking room and sit down and say, 'Well, Matthew, how much do you think you're worth?' There was a year and a half of being dragged around in the press."

He added that asking for more money is equally difficult no matter who's doing the asking.

"Jenji's entitled to every dollar, but you have to fight for it, male or female. No one gives you anything," he said.

On his own show, Weiner said women are "competitively paid" and he's always pushed for every staff member to get all the compensation they deserve.

"I can just tell you that as an employer, I have been on top of this, and I've never let anybody try and squeeze people out. January Jones had a baby on our show. Believe me, no one wanted to pay maternity leave on a 13-episode thing, and we did," Weiner said.

In the same interview, Weiner addressed criticism of his film "Are You Here" that claimed misogyny is "woven into the fabric of Weiner’s storytelling." Click here to see Weiner defend his script and explain why "to accuse the movie of misogyny is to misunderstand what it's about."

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