Taraji P. Henson shares some love for one global superstar and media icon in particular who has been a “beacon of light” for her, amidst their fight for a fair wage.
Henson recently got a lump in his throat when Discussing the harsh reality of significant wage inequality in Hollywood. and the disparity based on race and gender, which she has faced and suffered throughout her career.
On Thursday, Henson took to Instagram to clarify some of her comments and share some praise for Oprah Winfrey — who served as producer in the new musical imagination of The color Purplein which Henson plays Shug Avery.
“It's so important for black women and ALL women of color to support each other,” Henson captioned the post, which featured a photo of her and Winfrey standing on the observation deck atop the Empire State Building. “It is also imperative to have women of color in decision-making positions in ALL industries.”
“Thank you for responding to my message with the compassion, understanding and support I have received,” he continued. “That being said… Ms. OPRAH has been nothing less than a constant and solid beacon of light to the ENTIRE CAST of The color Purple!!!”
“She has provided ENCOURAGEMENT, GUIDANCE, and UNWAVERING SUPPORT to all of us,” he continued. “She told me personally to contact her for ANYTHING I needed, and I did! It took ONE CALL… ONE CONVERSATION… and ONE BLACK WOMAN MAKING A DECISION to make me feel heard.”
“Thank you Ms. @OPRAH for EVERYTHING you do,” Henson concluded.
Henson's Emotional comments about pay disparity in the entertainment industry. came up during a recent conversation with King Gayle for SiriusXM radio, while promoting The color Purple.
Henson joined Purple co-star Danielle Brooks and director Blitz Bazawule, and things turned somber when Henson opened up about her frustrations over the lack of fair pay in the industry, hinting that long-standing issues are determining factors in whether she will stop acting for good.
“I'm tired of working so hard, being kind in what I do, and getting paid a fraction of the cost,” she said. “I'm tired of hearing my sisters say the same thing over and over again. You get tired. I hear people say 'you work so hard!' “I have to do it. Math is not math. And when you start working hard, you have a team. Big bills come with what we do, we don't do it alone.”
“I'm human. Every time I do something and break another glass ceiling, when the time comes to renegotiate I'm back down as if I'd never done what I just did, and I'm tired,” she lamented. “I'm tired. It wears you down. What does that mean? What does that tell me? If I can't fight because they're coming after me, then what the fuck am I doing?”
Henson broke down in tears of frustration and noted that despite her various successes, she is still told there is no money on the table during negotiations because Black actors and stories “don't translate overseas,” among other excuses.
“I'm tired of hearing that my entire career,” Henson said. “Over twenty years in the game, I hear the same thing and see what you do for another production, but when it comes time to bat for us, they have no money. They play in your face.” . And I'm supposed to smile and smile and bear it. It's enough!”
The color Purple – also starring Fantasia Barrino, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, H.E.R., Halle Bailey, Aunjanue Ellis, Jon Batiste, David Alan Gried, Deon Cole and Louis Gossett Jr. – opens in theaters December 25.
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