Octavia Spencer: I Haven’t Gotten Paid What I Feel I Deserve, I Don’t Think Any Woman Has
Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer, 48, says that after years in the entertainment industry, she still does not get paid what she is deserved for her contributions. She said in a recent interview,
“Oh, I haven’t gotten paid what I feel I deserve. Not yet. But I always get a raise. Every single job, I get a raise. I don’t think any woman has really gotten what she deserves. But when I ask for something and they don’t meet it, I’m always willing to walk away.”
When asked, what does she say to women, specifically Black women who are afraid to turn down an opportunity, she replies,
“I haven’t always been in this position; there were times when I had to take what was being offered. But I can guaran-d*mn-tee you that my agent always made sure I got a raise. Always advance your position. Always. Sometimes it means, ‘Hey, I’m sorry, if I’m not getting what I need, then I’m going to have to move on to a place that does value me.’”
Octavia Spencer also adds that Hollywood needs to do its part when it comes to seeing more black faces in films and on TV,
“It began before us — it’s about equal protection under the law and to be seen as human beings. That’s the struggle. I think entertainment should be an example. There is value in telling stories that we haven’t heard, from marginalized and underserved communities. I think Hollywood has for too long regurgitated things, and now it’s time to tell new and fresh stories. Representation matters. When you see a representation of yourself onscreen, it’s not just for you, it’s for the world at large, so that you can be visible. It’s important to be seen and heard.”
Octavia Spencer received an Emmy nomination for her lead role in Netflix’s Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker, where she played Black businesswoman and philanthropist, Madam C.J. Walker. She spoke on being inspired by the role.
“The fact that this woman, who was born the first free person in her home post-slavery, was able to achieve so much when the world told her that she had no value — that’s what my mother used as the example. Your station in life does not dictate your path or your destiny.”
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