Viola Davis: 'We get probably a tenth of what a Caucasian woman gets'
She mentioned that money wasn't the only thing she had to negotiate for, adding that she felt the inequality "even in terms of roles."
In a very candid interview for Women in the World, actress Viola Davis brought up the pay gap that people often forget to address: the racial pay gap.
She revealed in the interview, "We won't talk about gender inequality of pay. Because a lot of the women who've stepped forward, and I stand in solidarity with them, okay, what they're getting paid, which is half of what a man is getting paid, well, we get probably a tenth of what a Caucasian woman gets."
She added, "And I'm number one on the call sheet. And then I have to go in and I have to hustle for my worth."
Davis went on to describe the difficulties she's faced despite her extensive experience. She said, "I have more than a 30-year professional career... 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."
She pointed out, "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 Juilliard, 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 revealed that despite her accomplishments and qualifications, she still had to fight for what she was owed. She said, "I have to get on the phone, and people say, "You're a black Meryl Streep. You are, and we love you... There is 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."
She mentioned that money wasn't the only thing she had to negotiate for, adding that she felt the inequality "even in terms of roles." She confessed, "When I delve into a role, I want something complicated, too... as an artist, I want to build the most complicated human being."
She expressed frustration at the roles offered, saying, "What I get is the third girl from the left."
With a career as prolific and as critically acclaimed as hers, she definitely deserves to be given a compensation that matches her skill and experience.
If you have any views or stories that you would like to share with us, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org