Fox tried to pay Gillian Anderson ‘half’ of what David Duchovny received to return to The X-Files

On Sunday night, Fox will premiere the highly anticipated six-episode revival of The X-Files, with original stars Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny returning to their starring roles. But whatever mysteries The X-Files has in store, there’s one nagging question that keeps coming up: Why does Fox keep trying to pay Gillian Anderson less than her male costar?

Anderson first disclosed the pay gap, which she says was “half” what Duchovny was offered to return, in a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter. (According to their sources, Anderson was eventually successful in negotiating for equal pay.) She elaborated on the problem in The Daily Beast. “It was shocking to me, given all the work that I had done in the past to get us to be paid fairly,” she said. “I worked really hard toward that and finally got somewhere with it.”

“Even in interviews in the last few years, people have said to me, 'I can’t believe that happened, how did you feel about it, that is insane.’ And my response always was, 'That was then, this is now.’ And then it happened again! I don’t even know what to say about it.”

In the end, Anderson settled for saying “It is… sad” — though offensive, or infuriating, or completely insane would have worked just as well.