Backstage Sunday at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, winner William H. Macy said he was optimistic about pay equality for women in Hollywood, but also said some men feel under attack.
"It's inevitable, it's going to happen and it's going to happen quickly," the "Shameless" actor said of equal pay for male and female actors.
He and his wife, Felicity Huffman, have two daughters, and Macy told the assembled reporters, "Girls are ascendant and I'm thrilled for them. It's a good time to be a girl."
But asked what advice he would give younger actors about behaving themselves, given the raft of accusations of sexual harassment and assault flooding Hollywood and other industries, Macy hesitated.
"That's a really, really complicated question," he said, adding that actors need to be able to express themselves and try things out. "We've got to be free."
He's worked with many women and said "Shameless" creator John Wells has been proactive in creating diversity in the writers' room.
And yet, ''it's hard to be a man these days,'' Macy said. "I think a lot of us feel like we're under attack."
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Macy, 67, and some of his fellow actors met recently to talk about the issue and said he expected they would keep talking.
As for the award, his fourth Actor statuette and the third he's picked up for his role of a drunken, deadbeat dad of a wild family in "Shameless," Macy said it means a lot.
"It means I'm still a contender. It means that the people that mean the most to me, my fellow actors, dig what I do."
And even after a decades-long career in show business, "I still get starstruck," he said, excited about sitting at a table next to Robert De Niro and Steve Carell.
How long would he like to keep playing the role of Frank Gallagher?
"The short answer is until I pay down my mortgage," Macy joked.
"The long answer is as long as they have stories to tell."