Taraji P. Henson Cries While Explaining She Works So Hard Because She’s Consistently Underpaid Despite Her Success
Movie star Taraji P. Henson recently broke down while speaking on unfair pay wages in the entertainment industry.
During a recent press interview, the actress shed tears explaining how Black women’s fight for change seems to be never ending.
The heart breaking moment came when Gayle King asked Taraji P. Henson if she was truly considering leaving the acting industry during a press interview for “The Color Purple”. King seems to have initially made light of the question, though Henson quickly made clear how heavy the topic is to her. Holding back tears, she responded:
“I’m just tired of working so hard, being gracious at what I do, getting paid a fraction of the cost. I’m tired of hearing my sisters say the same thing over and over. You get tired,”
This is so sad. pic.twitter.com/xlrwxZzgWG
— x ?? (@slightwright) December 20, 2023
“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 know you have a team. Big bills come with what we do, we don’t do this alone…it’s a whole entire team behind us. They have to get paid.”
The 53-year-old went on the breakdown what the expenses look like for a working actor, making it clear just how quick the money goes. She posed the example that when someone is paid $10 million, 50% is immediately collected for taxes. Referencing her team again, Henson stated that another 30% of the gross income immediately goes towards payroll, leaving the talent with only 30% of their earnings.
Letting her teals unfold, she added:
“I’m only human….It seems every time I do something, I 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 just tired…It wears on you…cause what does that mean? What does that tell me?…and if I can’t fight for them coming up behind me then what the f*ck am I doing?”
One would think that an actress of Henson’s caliber is surely living more than comfortably when it comes to finances. The decorated actress has starred in a number of big budget movies since her breakout performance in 2005’s “Hustle & Flow”, and has secured roles in award winning block buster’s such as “Hidden Figures” (2016) and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button “(2008). Henson has won several notable accolades throughout her career including a Golden Globe for her work on the hit TV show “Empire”, and has been nominated several times for reputable awards from the Oscar’s and the Emmy’s.
However, it seems her success has not yet translated in substantial monetary value in the eyes of media execs. Later in the interview, Henson added that she’s been told her “entire career” that Black actor’s don’t “translate well overseas”. This has often been heard as an excuse production company’s use to justify their pay gap for Black artists. Despite it all, Henson made it clear that she will never let the industry break her soul.
Are you surprised to hear Taraji P. Henson is still struggling for fair pay? Let us know in the comments section!