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…..