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Only 1 Black person made the ‘Forbes’ list of highest paid actors

The conspicuous dearth of Blacks on the annual top-paid actors list is not unexpected
Denzel Washington (Photo credit: / BAKOUNINE)

The merits of the inflammatory topic of equitable pay in Hollywood — especially in the aftermath of Taraji P. Henson’s poignant and tear-filled testimony — is further substantiated by the latest list of highest-paid actors.

Forbes‘ annual list of the highest-paid actors for 2023 was just released and, unsurprisingly, it had only one Black person on it.

The 10 highest-paid stars hauled in $449 million in box-office receipts. Comedic actor Adam Sandler topped the list with $73 million. He’s followed by Margot Robbie, $59 million ($78 million gross), Tom Cruise, $45 million ($53 million gross), Ryan Gosling, $43 million ($50 million gross), Matt Damon, $43 million ($50 million gross), Jennifer Aniston, $42 million ($56 million gross), Leonardo DiCaprio, $41 million ($48 million gross), Jason Statham, $41 million ($48 million gross), and Ben Affleck $38 million ($45 million).

Only Denzel Washington made the Forbes list

Washington, who earned $24 million for his roles from 2023, was the only African American on the list — and he came in last.

The issue of equitable pay that’s commensurate with skill set, experience, and comparable to their White counterparts became a lightning rod issue late last year. During Henson’s SiriusXM interview with Gayle King, she was overcome with emotion as she discussed the many struggles to try to eke out a prosperous living in Tinseltown. 

“I’m just tired of working so hard, being gracious at what I do [and] getting paid a fraction of the cost,” Henson said during the promotional tour for The Color Purple.

YouTube video

“I’m tired of hearing my sisters say the same thing over and over. You get tired. I hear people go, ‘You work a lot.’ Well, I have to. The math ain’t math-ing. When you start working a lot, you have a team. Big bills come with what we do. We don’t do this alone. It’s a whole team behind us. They have to get paid.”

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