Actress Danielle Brooks Recalls Taraji P. Henson Being A ‘Voice’ For “The Color Purple” Cast & Contacting Oprah After They Weren’t Given Food Or Dressing Rooms During Rehearsals

Danielle Brooks, Taraji P Henson, Oprah Winfrey

Actress Danielle Brooks Recalls Taraji P. Henson Being A ‘Voice’ For “The Color Purple” Cast & Contacting Oprah After They Weren’t Given Food Or Dressing Rooms During Rehearsals

Actress Danielle Brooks recently reflected on a major lesson she learned while filming for the blockbuster movie “The Color Purple“.

The 34-year-old spoke about learning how to speak up for herself on set, after witnessing costar Taraji P. Henson fight for better working conditions for the cast.

Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Oprah Winfrey

While sitting down for a Q&A recently, Danielle Brooks recalled how she and her cast members were initially not offered food nor dressing rooms for their rehearsals, which is typically standard for a cast of big budget movies. Discussing how producer Oprah Winfrey and her fellow actress Taraji P. Henson rectified the matter, however, she stated:

“I remember when we first came and we’re doing rehearsals, they put us all in the same space…We didn’t have our own dressing rooms at the time. We didn’t have our own food…[Oprah] corrected it for us. [Taraji] was our voice.”

She continued:

“This was my first studio film. Sometimes you do come in saying, ‘Ok, I’ll take whatever they give me. I’m just happy to be here.’ But [Taraji] spoke up for us. You showed me how to do that.”

Henson chimed into the discussion, acknowledging that the billionaire media mogul had “no idea” about the situation and immediately contacted the “Empire” star upon finding out. The 53-year-old recalled telling Winfrey over the phone:

“Ms. O we gotta fix this” 

They went on to express gratitude Winfrey for promptly being able to make the adjustment for the cast. However, food and dressing rooms wasn’t the only gripe the entertainer’s had with production. During a separate interview, Henson also opened up about having to protest the initial decision to have the starring cast members drive their own rental cars to work. She reportedly stated:

“They gave us rental cars, and I was like, ‘I can’t drive myself to set in Atlanta.’ This is insurance liability, it’s dangerous.”


“Now they robbing people. What do I look like, taking myself to work by myself in a rental car?…So I was like, ‘Can I get a driver or security to take me?’ I’m not asking for the moon. They’re like, ‘Well, if we do it for you, we got to do it for everybody.’ Well, do it for everybody! It’s stuff like that, stuff I shouldn’t have to fight for.”

As we previously reported, Henson has been very candid about her experience being unfairly treated as a star actress. She also previously discussed nearly walking away from the project entirely because they were attempting to low ball her pay from the jump. The entertainer shed tears while expressing her frustration at the unfortunate reality that fighting for fair pay is one Black actors and actresses continuously have to keep up, no matter the level of success they achieve.

However, it seems the cast was at least able to get some support from Winfrey as she was one of the top producers of the film. After fans initially speculated the media titan was the source of Henson’s tears and frustrations, the “Acrimony” star shut down the rumors. Sharing an image of her posing next to Winfrey she wrote:

“Thank you for responding to my message with the compassion, understanding and support that I’ve received. With that being said…Ms. OPRAH has been nothing less than a steady and solid beacon of light to ALL OF THE CAST of The Color Purple!!! She has provided ENCOURAGEMENT, GUIDANCE and UNWAVERING SUPPORT to us all…Thank You Ms. @OPRAH For ALL That You Do”


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Authored by: Kay Johnson