Gabrielle Union opened up about why black actresses get paid much less and why she’s done with pay disparity.
The actress joined the 9 to 5ish with the Skimm on September 21 where she talked about how Black stars are paid less by movie studios. In addition, she shared her tried and tested strategy on how to avoid bad offers and at the same time explained that in order to fight against pay disparity, they should join forces with other celebrities.
She said, “As Black actresses, there’s almost shame involved, because we get paid so much less. When those Forbes lists come out about highest paid actors, you’re like, ‘Oh, I’m a failure… That’s what they’re making? And I’m nowhere close.'”
According to Gabrielle, the actresses get screwed over because they don’t talk to each other about their salary. She explained, “They assume, justifiably, rightly so, that none of us are talking. And that’s how they screw each other, because somebody will be the carrot person.”
She added, “Sometimes you don’t even know you’re the carrot person. They’re like, ‘Well, Taraji [P. Henson] closed at—I’m using fictitious numbers—a million. I mean, otherwise, Taraji’s going to take it.’ And you’re like, ‘OK, well, $350,000, I guess.’ And Taraji’s like, ‘Girl, I’ve made, $4 million.’ You’re like, ‘Wait, what?'”
However, she justified that her friends “got that s–t out of the way quick.”
The actress revealed that she’s now more aware of her worth as a Black actress as she starts communicating with her fellow celebrities. She shared, “So, we’re all like, ‘What are they offering you? OK, so this studio, they do have money… Which person in business affairs were you talking to?'”
These conversations among actresses allowed them to gather all the information they need in negotiating their salaries. As Gabrielle pointed out, “So, you’re like, ‘OK, now please tell me again why you’re low-balling me based off of nothing, hoping that I’m an idiot.'” She added, “They just hope you don’t know your worth.”
Gabrielle recently revealed her struggles to have a child and during that time when her husband, Dwyane Wade fathered a child with another woman in her book, You Got Anything Stronger?.