An interesting bit of research for someone here

The next day we received an email from production with lines quoted from their insurers saying that the premium for a pregnant artist would be so high that the company would not cover it, and therefore they would be dropping me from the job.

Actress doesn’t get gig because she’s pregnant. That’s clearly discrimination.

Ah, but, is it taste or rational discrimination?

Which is where the research comes in. It’s possible for someone out there to actually chase down – it’ll presumably be someone at Lloyd’s who underwrites this sorta stuff – the numbers.

My first guess is that it’s not, actually, the costs of the woman becoming sick or whatever that matter. Rather, it’s that there’s some elevated risk that she will. Which then means that the entire part of he movie with her in it needs to be reshot. The costs are NOT of taking care of someone pregnant. It’s the knock on effects of that heightened risk on the costs of the whole project.

The premium will therefore not be based upon whatever the actress is being paid – or not as the case may be – but on the costs of everyone else having to reshoot for however many days or weeks. A very much larger sum.

Again an assumption, that the producers aren’t looking at the total cost of the insurance premium as the decision maker. Rather, at the cost of that premium as a percentage of what they’ve got to pay to hire the actress.

Actresses looking for a role are not exactly scarce. So, substitution of one for another isn’t that difficult. If the lady cast is in fact one of those entirely substituitable then the premium is going to loom large as a percentage of the cost of getting her.

To entirely invent numbers. Say the premium is £30k. The price of the actress is £30k. The premium is 100% of her fee – hell, get someone else.

OK, now think of a star. Didn’t the Legally Blonde bird do one of them while pregnant (and if not then someone definitely has at some point)? But she would need the £30k premium and against her $3 million salary that’s peanuts. Pregnancy isn’t a problem therefore.

OK, it’s all rather minor but there is a fun bit of research for someone to do out there. The difficult bit would be finding the underwriter who specialises in actors insurance at Lloyd’s…..

18 thoughts on “An interesting bit of research for someone here”

  1. If the actress is already in a long-running soap or sitcom, the pregnancy can be woven into the plot line. But for a drama (which tends to be a short-run miniseries), it’s much harder.

    Same applies for normal jobs tbh. If a long-standing employee gets pregnant, you shuffle things around to make it work for her. But most bosses will try to avoid hiring a pregnant woman.

  2. Tractor Gent

    Probably nobody in the real world is interested.

    But it’s all part n parcel of the woke whingers moaning about The Man….

  3. IIRC Gillian Anderson was pregnant during one series of the X-Files. Rather than try and make it a plot device, when the pregnancy become too obvious they simply resorted to only filming her in close up ‘head and shoulder’ shots.

  4. . . . a fun bit of research for someone to do out there.

    Someone whose standard of fun is somewhat different to yours, presumably.

  5. Gal Gadot was up the stick during the first Wonder Woman film, I have been told. Lawd only knows what her insurance cost.

    On the other end of the scale, Sheila Hancock was five months gone during Carry on Cleo. I don’t think Peter Rogers even bothered to have first aid kits, let alone insurance.

  6. Yes. It’s the same reason that Lindsay Lohan can’t get insurance and why Robert Downey Jr once had his insurance paid for by Mel Gibson when he was on his way back. Neither of these people were sick, but notorious for being unreliable.

  7. Idea for a prank tv show that puts jade in touch with the peeps from the campaign for insurance to pay for abortions.

  8. Don’t see you need to do much research. There’s numerous analogies with other insurance premiums. You go modify a car & you’ll pay a much higher premium than you would a car ex-factory. The insurer sees a risk over & above would be normal on the car & expects to be paid for covering it. And again, that’s mostly third party contingencies. The difference between fully comp insurance & third party only is relatively small.
    So what you’re talking about is a modified actress rather than the bog standard model. Go faster stripes optional.

  9. The fact that this person is queer and black rather than straight and white probably pushed the Graun into deciding to publish the article. Now if only she’d identified as a bloke………..

  10. The Original Jonathan

    Odd, I didn’t realise a woman could be impregnated by a woman. Clearly, then, she’s not a mammal, is she some alien species?

  11. Given that’s she’s the type that likes to bleat about Discrimination in the Guardian…

    Imagine what would have happened if by any chance something happened during her pregnancy, or she had a natural abortion, or any of the 100 things that can go wrong naturally..
    That too is calculated into the risk of insuring a pregnant actress… Endless potential for lawsuits with. shall we say… a highly emotive aspect.

    And to minimise the risk of that the production company must be able to prove they’ve done everything possible to mitigate that risk into negligibility ( not that it would help…), driving up the associated costs for that actress.

    Really, unless the character is scripted pregnant, no-one in his/her right mind would even contemplate hiring a pregnant actress. And even then the Special Tummy is only a fraction of the costs associated with hiring the Real Deal™, so there’d have to be some very compelling artistic reasons to Not Fake It.

  12. At what point are you allowed to discriminate on the basis simply of the inherent risk which cannot be mitigated means we cannot allow you to take part in this activity, funfair rides for example often have a series of disclaimers and even height and weight restrictions

  13. @TG Yes, there’s a market. Rule 34 and all that.

    I was actually thinking more about the tons of arthouse/dramady/educational stuff featuring pregnancy somewhere. Without immediately turning towards the gutter dregs of fetish pr0n. 😛

  14. She’d probably have a melt down on set if someone asked if she was pregnant – in woke world it’s probably some form of shaming.

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