Equal pay on silver screen
by The Anniston Star Editorial Board
Feb 12, 2013 | 1756 views |  0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lilly Ledbetter, champion of equal pay and fairness for American workers, speaks at a Middle Class Task Force event on solutions for families balancing the dual demands of work and caring for family in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building across from the White House in Washington. Photo: Charles Dharapak/Associated Press
Lilly Ledbetter, champion of equal pay and fairness for American workers, speaks at a Middle Class Task Force event on solutions for families balancing the dual demands of work and caring for family in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building across from the White House in Washington. Photo: Charles Dharapak/Associated Press
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Lilly Ledbetter doesn’t need a Hollywood biopic to finalize her legacy as a champion of gender equality.

She earned her place in history when her lawsuit against her former employer, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., led to passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first law signed by Barack Obama after he became president.

Nevertheless, the Jacksonville resident has signed with a Hollywood filmmaker, who plans to take Ledbetter’s story to the big screen.

Consider us curious as to how this will play out.

Likewise, allow us a moment to channel Gene Shalit and critique the Ledbetter film — before its cast is even set.

Our hope is that the movie will be more fact than fiction, more substance than Hollywood style. Ledbetter’s story is stunning in its seriousness and its success. To give it anything less than a serious treatment and insight into the woman who refused to give up her quest for equal pay for women would be a shame.

News-wise, Ledbetter’s story is every bit as important — if not more so — as that of Erin Brockovich, the California woman whose legal fight against a gas and power company’s environmental pollution became a hit movie in 2000.

The Brockovich film brought needed attention to the difficulties of safeguarding communities against industrial polluters.

We’d anticipate that a well-made Lilly Ledbetter movie would have a similar effect and illuminate the unfair practice of paying women less than male colleagues.

Today, it’s fun to think like a Hollywood producer: Who will play Ledbetter? Where will the film be shot? Will they need extras?

Chalk this up as more proof that Ledbetter’s decision to stand up for her rights was the right thing to do.
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