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Taraji P. Henson is giving fans even more insight into just how bad the pay disparity in Hollywood is for Black women.


Source: FREDERIC J. BROWN / Getty

After tearing up while talking about pay disparity during a recent interview with Gayle King, the actress revealed that she almost didn’t accept her role in The Color Purple due to just that.

“I almost had to walk away from The Color Purple,” Henson said during a live interview for the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, causing gasps from the audience.

“Yes, ma’am. … If I don’t take a stand, how am I making it easy for Fantasia [Barrino] and Danielle [Brooks] and Halle [Bailey] and Phylicia [Pearl Mpasi]?” she continued. “Why am I doing this, if it’s all just for me?”

Though the 53-year-old didn’t share details about the discrepancy in her offer, she did note that she hadn’t received a “raise” in pay since she starred in the 2018 film Proud Mary.

“I’m getting really tired of Black women having the same story, it’s breaking my heart,” she admitted during the conversation. “It’s like every time you achieve something really incredible, it’s almost like the industry looks at it like a fluke.”

Henson went on to say that, as a Black woman in Hollywood, she finds herself negotiating just to match what she made on a previous project. She also confessed that the frustrating cycle of the entertainment industry has made her reach a breaking point.

“I’m getting to a point where I just want to be 10 toes down on an island somewhere. Because [of] the fight as a Black woman,” Taraji admitted. “We do it with so much grace and get paid half the price of what we’re worth and that becomes difficult.”

“And it’s a slap in my face when people go, ‘Oh, you work all the time!’ Well, b***h, I have to cause the math ain’t mathing,” she said.

Henson said that she wishes she could just do two movies a year and spend the rest of her time relaxing, but she can’t afford that luxury since she has to support her family and her team.

“So, because you see me working so much, I got to. Big bills come with this s**t we do,” she explained. “I don’t do this alone, it takes a team and they want to get paid for their work, as they should.”

See her full interview for the SAG-AFTRA Foundation down below:

Amid all the chatter surrounding her words, Taraji made sure to give Oprah her flowers on Instagram.

“Ms. OPRAH has been nothing less than a steady and solid beacon of light to ALL OF THE CAST of The Color Purple!!!” wrote the actress on Thursday. “She has provided ENCOURAGEMENT, GUIDANCE and UNWAVERING SUPPORT to us all.n She told me personally to reach out to her for ANYTHING I needed, and I did! It took ONE CALL… ONE CONVERSATION… and ONE DECISION MAKING BLACK WOMAN to make me feel heard.

Thank You Ms. @OPRAH For ALL That You Do 💜💜💜”


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