Viola Davis, undeniably one of the best and most revered actors of our generation, is finally getting closer to the type of compensation that’s commensurate with her prodigious talents.
Davis has been included on the Forbes‘ list of the highest-paid actresses of 2020.
Remarkably, for a woman whose illustrious career includes an Oscar, an Emmy and two Tony Awards, this is the first time Davis even made the list. She raked in $15.5 million in fiscal 2020 due to her hefty seven-figure check from her popular character Annalise Keating on ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder.” She will also star as Ma Rainey in the film adaption of the August Wilson play Black Bottom that’s due for release on Dec. 18 on Netflix.
Davis has long been outspoken about the fact that she is often compared to the legends of the business, including multi-Oscar winner Meryl Streep, yet never getting hear the pay nor opportunities of her Caucasian counterparts.
“I got the Oscar, I got the Emmy, I got the two Tonys. I’ve done Broadway, I’ve done off-Broadway, I’ve done TV, I’ve done film, I’ve done all of it. I have a career that’s probably comparable to Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Sigourney Weaver – they all came out of Yale, they came out of Julliard, they came out of NYU, they had the same path as me. And yet, I am nowhere near them. Not as far as money, not as far as job opportunities, nowhere close to it,” Davis exclaimed at the Women in the World Summit in West Hollywood, Calif., in 2018.
“But I have to get on that phone and people say ‘You’re a black Meryl Streep. There’s no one like you.’ Okay, then if there’s no one like me, you think I’m that, you pay me what I’m worth. You give me what I’m worth.”
Here is the top 10 list of highest-paid actresses in 2020, according to Forbes.
- Viola Davis ($15.5 million).
- Elisabeth Moss ($16 million).
- Ellen Pompeo ($19 million)
- Nicole Kidman ($22 million)
- Emily Blunt ($22.5 million)
- Meryl Streep ($24 million)
- Melissa McCarthy ($25 million)
- Gal Gadot ($31.5 million)
- Angelina Jolie ($35.5 million)
- Sofia Vergara, ($43 million)
Flip the page to see Viola Davis speak on pay equity, or lack thereof, in Hollywood.