April 12 is Equal Pay Day. And while there’s a chance that half of the world’s population find that boring at best and threatening at worst, the other finds it necessary.
There’s a long way to go.
Belgian agency, Mortierbrigade, has created a film in partnership with Equal Pay Day Europe, to raise awareness of the pay gap between men and women that might just make a difference. Who better to talk about the problem than a transgender person? That’s exactly what the agency has done. Erika Irvan has experienced life on both sides of the pay gap.
The online film, Pay me like a man, features Erika Irvin, aka Amazon Eve, who talks about her transition from male to female.
“I’ve been fighting like hell to become the woman I am today,” she says.
“I lost my family, my friends, my career [as a lawyer: ed].”
Eve describes the benefits of being a woman. Her income is not one of them. “I am a woman…Since 2004, I have been paid like one.”
The ad is in part, a tribute to womanhood. In part, a statement of achievement. In part, a plea for equality. It’s beautifully filmed, elegant and unaggressive. Its quiet voice and unassailable viewpoint create its power.
This is Mortierbrigade’s second campaign for equal pay. In 2012 the agency created a similar film featuring porn star, Sasha Grey. The adult film industry, which many people see as exploiting women, is one of the only places in the world where women earn more than their male counterparts.
Charlotte Coddens, spokesperson for Mortierbrigade, commented, “At Mortierbrigade we pride ourselves on viewing the world differently and that is why the team felt compelled to offer out voices in support of the equal pay issue, telling the story from an angle that had never been explored before.
“Transgender icons such as Caitlyn Jenner, and Erika herself, have put the issues of transgender people on the agenda globally, which is why we felt that Erika’s story was a new way of exploring this inequality from a positive and inspiring angle.”
The film was shot on location in LA with director Koen Mortier.
Creative directors: Jens Mortier, Joost Berends & Philippe De Ceuster
Creative team: Kwint De Meyer, Willem De Wachter, Joost Berends & Koen Mortier
Strategic director: Vincent D’Halluin
Business director: Charlotte Coddens
Producer: Lore Meert
Production company: Czar
Director: Koen Mortier
Producers: Joop Haesen & Eurydice Gysel
Producer LA: Kimi A.E. Porter
Post producer: Bieke De Keersmaecker
DoP: Stoeps Langensteiner