Gabrielle Union thinks movie studios “screw” Black actresses out of big paydays.
The 48-year-old actress says Black actresses are underpaid compared to their white counterparts, and Union is determined to fight back against the inequality.
“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,’ ” she said.
Union thinks film studios are able to take advantage of Black actresses because movie stars are often reluctant to discuss their salaries with each other.
She told E! News: “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.
“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?’ ”
Union now feels more certain of her own worth than ever before.
And the actress is determined to discuss her pay with other actresses in order to avoid being underpaid.
“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?’ They just hope you don’t know your worth,” she said.