Sarah Silverman and The Equal Payback Project

by Samantha Albala


Of course Sarah Silverman is the adorable and bold front woman for the new campaign called The Equal Payback Project, aiming to close the wage gap! And, of course being provocative and bold and shocking to those fighting to raise the gap is a way that the issue will gain plenty of attention. But here is what you should know about why we still need to fight the pay gap, and why you should care about this campaign:


  • According to the Census Bureau, the median earnings of a full time, year round female employee still makes on average 78% of what the males in the workforce make, that’s a 22% gap for no reason.
  • That’s not even mentioning the stats from the National Women’s Law Center, which prove “African American women make only 64 cents and Latinas make 56 cents to a white, male, non-Latino counterpart’s dollar.”
  • Over a 40-year career that is a loss of $435,049.00 per lady!
  • Working mothers are actually recommended for lower starting salaries than working fathers yet are seen as more committed to their jobs (“the motherhood penalty”).
  • It’s been more than 50 years since the Equal Pay Act and we are far too unbalanced and underpaid for equal work.


The campaign’s steep crowdfunding goal amounts to $30 trillion ($29,811,746,430,000.00 to be exact) to pay back the 69 million women workers in the United States. If the money is raised, the campaign says they will pay back all the women in America the amount they are owed. However, since it isn’t likely that that goal will reached, which Sarah admits, the proceeds will go to The National Woman’s Law Center, an advocacy group that lobbies hard to rally for equal pay and to ensure that young women will have a fair future.


This campaign is in partnership with Droga5, an advertising network that previously worked with Sarah on her voting campaign “The Great Schlep,”and The Ipsos Girls’ Lounge, a collective that regularly hold events for women.

“Equal pay may not be a sexy issue, but it’s an important one,” says Casey Rand Droga5 Creative Director, “And it’s absurd. Young women need to know what’s at stake. And we know that to get them to engage we’d need to play up that absurdity.” This campaign is directed towards improving the future. Although it would be splendid if 30 trillion could be contributed and the women of American could be paid back the money they deserve, it is imperative that we fight to eliminate the pay gap soon and get rid of the biases and judgment put on the working women of this nation.

In the campaign video, Sarah jokes that getting gender reassignment surgery is the only way to get paid like a man (an extreme solution to be sure, almost extremely offensive). Although she makes light of it with penis jokes a-plenty, in reality we know this kind of surgery is not ever done on a whim, nor is it fun, nor is it ever done to make a political point, as so deftly explains. But you can watch this (NSFW) video and pass it along for the message so women can educate ourselves on the topic of equal pay and maybe – just maybe!- we can be fairly compensated in this century. 

Photos c/o equalpaybackproject and imdb.

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