Taraji P. Henson is receiving widespread support from her Hollywood colleagues after making comments about the pay inequality she's experienced throughout her acting career.
While promoting her upcoming film The Color Purple, Henson broke down over the possibility of quitting acting over the lack of fair pay.
“I’m just tired of working so hard, being gracious at what I do, [and] getting paid a fraction of the cost,” Henson recently said on a podcast. “I’m tired of hearing my sisters say the same thing over and over. You get tired. I hear people say ‘you work a lot!’ 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.”
Gabrielle Union echoed Henson's sentiments on X, formerly said.
"Not a damn lie told. Not. A. Damn. Lie," Union wrote alongside a clip of Henson's comments. "We go TO BAT for the next generation and hell even our own generation and above. We don't hesitate to be the change that we all need to see AND it takes a toll on your mind, health, soul, and career if we're keepn it 💯."
On the podcast, Henson also delved further into how much actors in Hollywood get paid. According to Henson, the government takes half an actor's gross pay, and another 20-30 percent goes to various members of their team like managers, agents, publicists, stylists, and more.
“I’m only human and it seems every time I do something and break a 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,” Henson tearfully said. “I’m tired. I’m tired. It wears on you. Because what does that mean? What is that telling me? And if I can’t fight for them coming behind me, then what the f*** am I doing?”
Keke Palmer also chimed in on the conversation.
"The entertainment industry is just like any other industry. We run businesses to keep our brands afloat, us being the brand/business," Palmer wrote on Instagram. "And it’s that team of company members that decrease any assumed large lump sum. This includes monthly expenses just like everyone else. In the words of Biggie, 'more money more problems.'"
"To make money you must spend money so what seems like a lot is taken by a lot," Palmer continued. "There is still privilege in this depending what vantage point you are seeing from, but in our industry amongst one another this is neutralized."
"We ALL work multiple jobs and we may like some but also because we HAVE to. To be successful and live in America it’s literally this way because of the cash to expense ratio and this is why entrepreneurship is so important but that in itself is expensive!" she added, concluding with "America, we have a problem."