Taraji P. Henson, a renowned US actress, has recently opened up about the pay discrepancy within the Hollywood acting industry. She is best known for her captivating portrayal of ‘Cookie’ on the famous TV show “Empire.” During an interview with Gayle King, the actress broke down in tears when asked about rumours that she was considering quitting acting due to the wage gap. Henson conveyed her frustration that black actors are often underpaid compared to their white counterparts, despite all their hard work. She further explained that a significant portion of her earnings go towards paying taxes and the team that supports her. Her heartfelt message drew attention to an issue that has long been ignored and is now gaining more attention in the entertainment industry, even as co-star Terrence Howard had earlier raised concerns over what was paid to him from the show.
“I’m just tired of working so hard, being gracious at what I do…getting paid a fraction of the cost.” I hear people go, ‘You work a lot.’ Well, I have to. The math ain’t mathing and when you start working a lot, you have a team. Big bills come with what we do. We don’t do this alone. It’s a whole team behind us. They have to get paid. ”
“I’m only human and it seems like every time I do something and break another glass ceiling, when it’s time to renegotiate I’m at the bottom again like I never did what I just did, and I’m tired. I’m tired. It wears on you,”
She confidently stated that her 20 years of experience in Hollywood have made her aware of the challenges faced by black actors in the industry. Despite being told that “they don’t perform well internationally” and are paid less than their counterparts, she has to choose to remain resolute in her passion for acting. She has also learned not solely to depend on her talent and has expanded her horizons by exploring other sources of income. This reflects her unwavering determination and strength of character.
“Enough is enough! That’s why I have others… because of this industry…if you let it, it will steal your soul. I refuse to let that happen.”