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Taraji P Henson's memoir exposes Hollywood's pay gap

dontdiedontkillanyon
dontdiedontkillanyon Show me some love, you losers.Members Posts: 10,172 ✭✭✭✭✭
Taraji P Henson's memoir exposes Hollywood's pay gap

Actor claims she was paid less than 2% of what co-star Brad Pitt received for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

taraji.jpg

A new memoir by Empire star Taraji P Henson candidly claims she was paid far less than her fellow actors, saying she was passed over for a role written for her in favour of a white colleague.

In Around the Way, Henson, who is shortly to be seen in Hidden Figures, an Oscar-contending biopic of black female Nasa scientists, claims she was paid “less than 2%” of her co-star Brad Pitt’s salary in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

In that film, Henson plays the adoptive mother of Pitt’s character – a role for which she won a supporting actress nomination – but was forced to pay her own accommodation costs for the shoot. She also picked up a pay packet far less than anticipated; “the equivalent of sofa change” compared with what Pitt and Cate Blanchett received.

Henson writes:

Both Brad and Cate got millions. Me? With bated breath, I sat by the phone for hours, waiting for Vince [her manager] to call and tell me the number that I thought would make me feel good: somewhere in the mid six figures – no doubt a mere percentage of what Brad was bringing home to Angelina and their beautiful babies, but something worthy of a solid up-and-coming actress with a decent amount of critical acclaim for her work. Alas, that request was dead on arrival. “I’m sorry, Taraji,” Vince said quietly when we finally connected. “They came in at the lowest of six figures. I convinced them to add in a little more, but that’s as high as they’d go.” There was one other thing: I’d have to agree to pay my own location fees while filming in New Orleans, meaning three months of hotel expenses would be coming directly out of my pocket. Insult, meet injury.


Henson goes onto explain that she nonetheless took the role as so few were available for black women.

The math really is pretty simple: there are way more talented black actresses than there are intelligent, meaningful roles for them, and we’re consistently charged with diving for the crumbs of the scraps, lest we starve.

This is exactly how a studio can get away with paying the person who’s name is third on the call sheet of a big-budget film less than 2% what it’s paying the person whose name is listed first. I knew the stakes: no matter how talented, no matter how many accolades my prior work had received, if I pushed for more money, I’d be replaced and no one would so much as a blink.


Henson also claims that studio cowardice was behind her dismissal from the cast of Bill Murray comedy St Vincent, despite the role of a pregnant Russian sex worker having been written “specifically for me” by writer/director Ted Melfi (who is also behind Hidden Figures). The role ended up going to Naomi Watts “because someone with the ability to green-light a film couldn’t see black women beyond a very limited purview he or she thought ‘fit’ audience expectations”.

“It was a meaty gig,” continues Henson. “I would have loved it. Alas, I couldn’t get served at that particular restaurant.”

The Guardian has contacted the distributors of St Vincent and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for comment.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/oct/12/taraji-p-hensons-memoir-exposes-hollywoods-pay-gap

Comments

  • lord nemesis
    lord nemesis You ever dance with the Devil in the pale moonlight? Members Posts: 11,946 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Black female in Hollywood getting paid comparative chicken scraps? I'm utterly shocked.
  • TheGOAT
    TheGOAT El Coyote unknownGuests, Members, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 15,916 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I wanna know exactly how much she was payed.


    Thats way 🤬 she had to pay for her own hotel room tho
  • Recaptimus_Prime360
    Recaptimus_Prime360 Earned my Masters and Ph.d in Phat Booty-ology Members Posts: 64,801 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Smh. Utter bs. I'm sure black male actors are experiencing similar situation as well.
  • playmaker88
    playmaker88 Boy, I tell you that's vision Like Tony Romo when he hitting Witten Members Posts: 67,905 ✭✭✭✭✭
    white supremacy touches everything.
  • atribecalledgabi
    atribecalledgabi DragonstoneMembers, Moderators Posts: 14,063 Regulator
    When it said she got paid less than 2% of what brad pitt made I was bout to be like "so?"...but then I read the breakdown...low 6 figures on top of having to pay your own way. That's 🤬 up.
  • not_osirus_jenkins
    not_osirus_jenkins Sion Members, Banned Users Posts: 3,670 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Actors bring the fans, actresses really dont. There are hundreds of thousands of women who would work for those peanuts. The males wont. Supply and demand.
  • Elzo69Renaissance
    Elzo69Renaissance Never selling dreams, always serving cream SeattleMembers Posts: 50,708 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Good thing is the money is in tv shows anyway
  • sapp08_2001
    sapp08_2001 #Sawse San DiegoMembers Posts: 7,565 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Smh always underpaid even though we taught them the fundamentals of life
  • ghostdog56
    ghostdog56 Members Posts: 2,947 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I seen her on good morning America and it looks like she is bleaching her skin
  • rickmogul
    rickmogul IFNOTYNOT Members Posts: 1,961 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I get a vibe from her I just don't care for. Always seemed phony.
  • Koltrain
    Koltrain Mr. MOMembers Posts: 4,286 ✭✭✭✭✭
    ghostdog56 wrote: »
    I seen her on good morning America and it looks like she is bleaching her skin

    I hate seeing blk ppl do this..
  • Rampage12
    Rampage12 Members Posts: 3,512 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Seems like she needs a better agent...she needs to holler at Ari Gold.
  • MD_PROPER
    MD_PROPER Way too many Tommy's not enough Ghosts.. Members Posts: 1,526 ✭✭✭✭✭
    All black actors come together put x amount of money into to your own studio. Create a board, hire someone to run the day to day and write, diect and produce your own films....you dont have to leave white hollywood, but you can create an avenue for constant employment.
    Learn a little from tidal, netflix, Byron Allen, etc...Dame Dash is even doing this, but more need to come together and create quality content...it would take some work but so what.


    One day entertainers and athletes have to realize the power they have..stop looking to your opressors for equality and compassion. Get together and create your own. Kevin Hart is doing this as one man...imagine if more black people on that level came together and created their own content. This why I support the Money & Violence movement.
  • ghostdog56
    ghostdog56 Members Posts: 2,947 ✭✭✭✭✭
    MD_PROPER wrote: »
    All black actors come together put x amount of money into to your own studio. Create a board, hire someone to run the day to day and write, diect and produce your own films....you dont have to leave white hollywood, but you can create an avenue for constant employment.
    Learn a little from tidal, netflix, Byron Allen, etc...Dame Dash is even doing this, but more need to come together and create quality content...it would take some work but so what.


    One day entertainers and athletes have to realize the power they have..stop looking to your opressors for equality and compassion. Get together and create your own. Kevin Hart is doing this as one man...imagine if more black people on that level came together and created their own content. This why I support the Money & Violence movement.

    Doesn't Tyler Perry have his own studio?
  • NothingButTheTruth
    NothingButTheTruth stew Members Posts: 10,850 ✭✭✭✭✭
    MD_PROPER wrote: »
    All black actors come together put x amount of money into to your own studio. Create a board, hire someone to run the day to day and write, diect and produce your own films....you dont have to leave white hollywood, but you can create an avenue for constant employment.
    Learn a little from tidal, netflix, Byron Allen, etc...Dame Dash is even doing this, but more need to come together and create quality content...it would take some work but so what.


    One day entertainers and athletes have to realize the power they have..stop looking to your opressors for equality and compassion. Get together and create your own. Kevin Hart is doing this as one man...imagine if more black people on that level came together and created their own content. This why I support the Money & Violence movement.

    Word, I always wondered why the generation thriving now never made power moves or attempted to keep the ball rolling by providing opportunities to the next generation. We got people like Samuel L. Jackson that's in every other movie, but what happens when he retires/passes? Who is his apprentice? I hope he's helping some of these young actors get off the ground, or else when he's gone, that door will close.

    ... I agree with your suggestion, I'll just put it out there that a lot of black businessmen idolize and follow their white counterparts, meaning they will also 🤬 you for your money and not think twice about it. Being black isn't enough. We need to get together based on character and morals as well.
  • Revolver Ocelot
    Revolver Ocelot Members Posts: 3,393 ✭✭✭✭✭
    ghostdog56 wrote: »
    MD_PROPER wrote: »
    All black actors come together put x amount of money into to your own studio. Create a board, hire someone to run the day to day and write, diect and produce your own films....you dont have to leave white hollywood, but you can create an avenue for constant employment.
    Learn a little from tidal, netflix, Byron Allen, etc...Dame Dash is even doing this, but more need to come together and create quality content...it would take some work but so what.


    One day entertainers and athletes have to realize the power they have..stop looking to your opressors for equality and compassion. Get together and create your own. Kevin Hart is doing this as one man...imagine if more black people on that level came together and created their own content. This why I support the Money & Violence movement.

    Doesn't Tyler Perry have his own studio?

    Yes. Even tho dude get's a lot of hate, gotta respect the fact that he owns ALL his 🤬 and that TPS is worth damn near a billion dollars.
  • fuc_i_look_like
    fuc_i_look_like Members Posts: 9,190 ✭✭✭✭✭
    She had a pretty small role in Benjamin Button tho. Brad Pitt was in like every scene in that movie.
  • The Lonious Monk
    The Lonious Monk Man with No Fucks Given Members Posts: 26,258 ✭✭✭✭✭
    She had a pretty small role in Benjamin Button tho. Brad Pitt was in like every scene in that movie.

    Well I don't think the pay is the problem as much as them making her pay for her own 🤬 . That's just disrespectful.
  • Idiopathic Joker
    Idiopathic Joker PISTOL GRIP PUMP IN MY LAP AT ALL TIMES Working On My LowriderMembers, Moderators Posts: 45,691 Regulator
    She had a pretty small role in Benjamin Button tho. Brad Pitt was in like every scene in that movie.

    Well I don't think the pay is the problem as much as them making her pay for her own 🤬 . That's just disrespectful.

    She ain't the only one. It happens with many unknown/b list actors.
  • K_Fisher
    K_Fisher Members Posts: 2,285 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Race 🤬 and gender inequality aside..Brad pitt would've commanded a higher pay then even a bigger white actress at that time. It's simple he was a bigger star ( if not one of the biggest) and his name on that movie would have drawn in more audience than Taraji Henson ( no disrespect to her)
  • nujerz84
    nujerz84 NJMembers Posts: 15,418 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Folks didn't go to see Benjamin Button for Taraji Henson.
  • farris2k1
    farris2k1 Members Posts: 1,937 ✭✭✭✭✭
    K_Fisher wrote: »
    Race 🤬 and gender inequality aside..Brad pitt would've commanded a higher pay then even a bigger white actress at that time. It's simple he was a bigger star ( if not one of the biggest) and his name on that movie would have drawn in more audience than Taraji Henson ( no disrespect to her)

    Yep, brad pitt is gonna make way more money than the majority of actors/actresses out there