As we’ve seen time and time again, the wage gap in Hollywood is a huge issue for actresses in particular. In Taraji P. Henson’s new memoir Around the Way Girl, she discusses the humiliation of negotiating her salary for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and then having to take the role because there just aren’t that many meaningful parts for women of color.
If you remember, Benjamin Button was a HUGE blockbuster starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, and Henson played one of the most key supporting roles (Brad Pitt’s adoptive mom, to be exact).
However, Henson was not given the level of pay you might expect on such a high profile project. In her memoir, She writes:
And we know — even the “lowest of six figures” sounds like a lot for most of us, but in the context of what is normal for her industry — an industry that throws millions upon millions of dollars into projects — it simply doesn’t add up. Oh, and there’s more.
Henson goes on to explain why she not only felt compelled to take the role, despite well-below-average compensation, but why she felt as though she couldn’t negotiate for something fairer.
We hate to be a downer, but this is devastating.
Despite the harsh reality of what Henson experienced, we’re SO glad that she opened up about it. She’s bringing much needed awareness to the especially difficult position women of color in the entertainment industry are continually put in.
We love you, lady!