In the movie "To Kill a Mockingbird", were the black actors (like Calpurnia and Tom Robinson) paid less than the white actors?After all, there was prejudice against the blacks still, right? But...

In the movie "To Kill a Mockingbird", were the black actors (like Calpurnia and Tom Robinson) paid less than the white actors?

After all, there was prejudice against the blacks still, right? But then the movie was all about civil rights. This applies to any 1940s-1960s movie, but I was thinking of this movie in specific.

Expert Answers
ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"To Kill a Mockingbird" was filmed in 1962 after John F. Kennedy signed new civil rights laws.  There was also an actor's union in existence at this time which had set pay rates for actors based on the role, hours, and billing in the movie.  As far as the prejudice is concerned, yes, there was and still is prejudice in the world but it did not influence the salaries of the actors in this movie.  The Screen Actor's Guild is a strong union and people can't even get hired for a movie unless they are members.  The Actor's Equity Union was established in 1913 and has tried to keep unfair practices to a minimum.  Hope this helps.

hi1954 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The rates for actors in general are somewhat standardized, but of course Gregory Peck was paid more than the others irrespective of color.  For the starring roles in film, now and back then, the ability of an actor's name (or an actress') to attract moviegoers to the theater or investors to the production is of greater value than their skin color.