Breaking: Mama Bear only made 79% of porridge Papa Bear made


Illustration by Megan Waldau

Ann Karneus, Vogue's Shortest Correspondent '04

In a Vanity Fair article published last week, shocking allegations have come to light: the beloved bear actor Kelly Evans aka ‘Mama Bear’ from the smash hit “Goldilocks and The Three Bears” revealed that she received a salary roughly 21 percent lower than her male co-star and real-life ex-husband, Burt Couldry aka ‘Papa Bear.’ The two whose marriage began publicly crumbling shortly after the 2011 cult horror film debuted separated in 2014 after 15 years together. The film is regarded as groundbreaking in terms of gender representation and equality, and complexly captures the tortured psyche of the lovable yet disturbed female protagonist Goldilocks as she invades her neighbors’ home. Critically acclaimed for its climactic, twist ending when she is brutally mauled by the Bear family, Evan’s grievance certainly complicates the film’s status as a feminist cult classic. Not only was “Goldilocks” heralded as being innovative in this regard, but it also featured the first talking bears with lead roles in film history.

Evans, who chose not to keep the last name of her ex-husband and former co-star Burt Couldry, came forward with the upsetting news last week in an exclusive tell-all interview with Vanity Fair Magazine and her words are incredibly powerful: “When we were shooting the film, I had absolutely no prior knowledge about this disparity… And when payday finally came, Burt got a salary far higher than mine… It not only made me feel as if my work wasn’t as appreciated as his, but it felt like my accomplishments were and would be less valued for years to come… and that stung.” She eloquently sums up the debilitating effects income inequality can have on actresses, and urges them to read the fine print in contracts and push for wage equality. “I can’t read because I’m a bear, but I know less porridge when I see it.”

Evans then turns to reflect on her failed marriage, and she ruefully admits that with the newfound stressors of fame and building resentment “that movie was the beginning of the end for Burt and I.” The movie that would catapult both of them to superstardom also created an unexpected rift between them. Evans drops another bomb when she admits that she received the same unequal paycheck in the more mainstream 2013 sequel, “Goldilocks and The Three Bears 2: Ho Ho Homecoming Christmas Edition.” She also adds, “I’m not sure how much Baby Bear” played by then child bear star Nick Appleton — “made in either film, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he made more than me. Nick and I didn’t actually get along on set.” Appleton, 26, has not appeared in a film since the 2016 flop “Goldilocks and The Three Bears: Baby Bear Goes to College,” which neither Evans nor Couldry returned for. The timeless character of Mama Bear may be a feminist icon, but industry practices seem to be as sexist and ugly as ever.