November 17, 2017 03:24 PM


When Emmy Rossum threatened to leave Shameless if she didn’t receive pay equal to that of her costar William H. Macy, he was nothing but supportive.

“It’s a no-brainer,” the actor recently told PEOPLE Now. “It’s just sort of obvious. Emmy is in most of the scenes, she works harder than anybody else, she’s a brilliant actress. She’s the glue of the cast.”

Last year, Rossum, 31, made headlines when she refused to sign on for the Showtime drama’s eighth season unless she was offered more than Macy to make up for the seven years she was paid significantly less. Days later, the Golden Globe-nominated actress and Warner Bros. came to terms on a new contract.

“I love working for Showtime and [showrunner] John Wells,” said Macy, 67. “Let’s just be honest about this — it’s their job to get the actors for as inexpensively as possible, and it was a healthy go-around.”

“They’re great men and women that I work for, and they do the right thing,” he continued. “It’s like Churchill said of America. ‘You can count on America to do the right thing, but only after exhausting every other possibility.’ ”

Emmy Rossum and William H. Macy

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Macy also offered his thoughts on the current climate in the entertainment industry amid allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment and assault against Hollywood power players like Harvey Weinstein. (A spokesperson for the movie mogul previously told PEOPLE that any allegations of non-consensual sex are “unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein,” and that “Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”)

“I think we have to keep in mind that things that were okay in my grandfather’s day are illegal now, and things that happened in my father’s day will get you fired now,” the actor said. “We’re evolving. I wish this had reached its critical mass earlier.”

“I think the thing that makes me the saddest is the women who were taken advantage of and internalized it,” he continued. “They came away from these jerks feeling that they were less, that they didn’t have anything to offer. It shook their faith in their own abilities and their own talent, and that makes me really angry, that someone would do that to someone else.”

Macy, who shares Sofia Grace, 17, and Georgia Grace, 15, with wife Felicity Huffman, went on to say that he’s “very pleased to have daughters.”

“I think it’s a good time to be a young woman,” he said. “I think the world will be a better place when more women run the world. They’re less quick to tear things apart and to blow things up. And at the same time, I’ve learned that that phrase, ‘She fights like a girl’ — well, if she fights like a girl, be afraid. Be very afraid. I’ve seen my daughters. … Girls play the long game.”

Shameless airs Sundays (9 p.m. ET) on Showtime.

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