Rolling Out

Taraji P. Henson commends Oprah for making her ‘feel heard’

The actor says the media mogul ‘told me personally to reach out to her for anything I needed’
Taraji P. Henson (Photo credit: Bang Media)

Taraji P. Henson had high praise and gratitude for Oprah Winfrey in the wake of her emotional viral video about the pay disparities Black women face in Hollywood.

In an Instagram post on Dec. 20, the Oscar-nominated actor took time to acknowledge the positive feedback she’s been getting after expressing in a sit-down with Gayle King that she was “tired of working so hard” and “getting paid a fraction of the cost.”

“It is so important for Black women and ALL women of color to support each other,” Henson began the caption. “It is also imperative to have women of color in decision-making positions across ALL industries.”

“Thank you for responding to my message with the compassion, understanding and support that I’ve received,” she continued.

“Ms. OPRAH has been nothing less than a steady and solid beacon of light to ALL OF THE CAST of The Color Purple!!! She has provided ENCOURAGEMENT, GUIDANCE and UNWAVERING SUPPORT to us all. She told me personally to reach out to her for ANYTHING I needed, and I did! It took ONE CALL… ONE CONVERSATION… and ONE DECISION MAKING BLACK WOMAN to make me feel heard,” Henson concluded.

Sitting alongside The Color Purple co-star Danielle Brooks and director Blitz Bazawule during an interview for SiriusXM, Henson tearfully told King that she’s contemplated quitting the business because she’s “tired of hearing my sisters saying the same thing over and over” about the pay gap Black women face.

“I hear people go, ‘You work a lot.’ I have to. The math ain’t mathing,” she said. “Big bills come with what we do … The fact that we’re up here, there’s a whole entire team behind us. They have to get paid.”

A number of her contemporaries, including Gabrielle Union, Keke Palmer and Viola Davis, re-shared Henson’s video with words of solidarity.

Henson will next be seen playing the part of Shug Avery in the updated film version of The Color Purple along with Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Colman Domingo, David Alan Grier, Fantasia Barrino, H.E.R. and more.

The Color Purple will open in theaters on Christmas Day.

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