Taraji P. Henson on Hollywood pay disparity: ‘The mathematics ain’t mathing’


Taraji P. Henson has a variety of ideas concerning the pay disparity in Hollywood.

The 53-year-old actor expressed her frustrations by means of tears whereas doing press for her upcoming movie “The Coloration Purple.”

“I’m simply uninterested in working so exhausting, being gracious at what I do, getting paid a fraction of the price,” Henson instructed Gayle King on SiriusXM. “I’m uninterested in listening to my sisters say the identical factor again and again. You get drained. I hear individuals go, ‘You’re employed so much.’ Nicely, I’ve to. The mathematics ain’t mathing.”

She stated entertainers typically have a workforce behind them that shares in any paycheck — and that’s to not point out the chunk claimed by Uncle Sam.

“Whenever you begin working so much, , you’ve got a workforce,” the “Empire” star continued. “Large payments include what we do. We don’t do that alone. There’s an entire whole workforce behind us. They need to receives a commission.”

Henson stated her earlier accomplishments — which embody a number of Emmy nominations and an Academy Award nomination — don’t carry weight when it comes time to barter a wage, an issue affecting many Black feminine actors.

“Each time I do one thing and I break one other glass ceiling, when it’s time to renegotiate, I’m on the backside once more, like I by no means did what I simply did and I’m simply drained,” she defined. “It wears on you — ’trigger what does that imply? What’s that telling me? And if I can’t battle for [the Black female actors] developing behind me, then what the f— am I doing?”

Henson stated her wrestle for equal pay is a part of the rationale she branched out, including enterprise ventures. A rising variety of actors are discovering various types of income.

And Henson is amongst Black girls in Hollywood who’ve launched hair-care merchandise in recent times. Others embody Tracee Ellis Ross with Sample, Issa Rae and Hannah Diop with Sienna Naturals, Gabrielle Union with Flawless and Tia Mowry with 4U. It’s a part of a increase within the magnificence business, which has benefited from Black shopping for energy however seen solely a small variety of Black enterprise house owners prosper.

“That’s why I’ve different issues. I’ve my TPH model and I’ve my psychological wellness model,” Henson stated. “I’ve different issues as a result of this business, for those who let it, it’ll steal your soul. However I refuse to let that occur.”

Fellow Black girls within the leisure business voiced assist on social media for Henson’s feedback.

“Not a rattling lie instructed. Not. A. Rattling. Lie. We go TO BAT for the following technology and hell even our personal technology and above,” Gabrielle Union wrote in an X put up. “We don’t hesitate to be the change that all of us have to see AND it takes a toll in your thoughts, well being, soul, and profession if we’re keepn it [100].”

Comic and former “Saturday Evening Reside” solid member Leslie Jones wrote,” I felt this s— to my core!! It don’t matter how a lot you’re employed, how nice you’re at your job. They nonetheless don’t see you or assume you’re a related supply. And I do really feel scared for the Leslie joneses that may come after me! I felt this s— @tarajiphenson. I’ve cherished you since after I met you on my first actual audition on this business!! I understand how lengthy you been at it!!

“We really feel you, @tarajiphenson and we love you,” tweeted “Group” actor Yvette Nicole Brown. “It’s a battle we ALL are waging. For ourselves and for those developing after us. This mess sucks!”

“A Black Woman Sketch Present” creator and actor Robin Thede chimed in on the dialog in an X put up, writing, “WATCH THIS. Taraji is telling absolutely the TRUTH. 70-80% of GROSS revenue is gone off prime for taxes & commissions (brokers, managers, legal professionals). And for many who pay different staff as nicely? Babyyyy! The mathematics ain’t mathing!”

Instances workers author Marissa Evans contributed to this report.


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