Taraji Henson became emotional when asked about previous comments she made expressing plans to quit acting after 25 years of celebrated work.
Taraji P. Henson broke down when explaining her financial situation despite being an accomplished Academy Award-nominated actor.
Henson was among three members of “The Color Purple” cast who sat down with Gayle King for Sirius XM in an interview published on Tuesday, Dec. 19 promoting the new musical. In a clip being heavily shared online, Henson became emotional when asked about previous comments she made expressing plans to quit acting after 25 years of celebrated work.
“I’m just tired of working so hard being gracious at what I do getting paid a fraction of the cost. I’m tired,” she said through tears.
“I’m tired of hearing my sisters say the same thing over and over you get tired,” she continued.
Henson went on to explain why she keeps herself busy with film projects throughout the year.
“I hear people say ‘you work a lot.’ You have to the math ain’t mathing,” she said before explaining the “big bills” that come with being a high-profile actor.
“We don’t do this alone…it’s a whole entire team behind us. They have to get paid,” Henson explained.
It’s the real-life financial struggle Henson is facing despite her success in Hollywood which has led to her thoughts of calling it quits. The money woes come as a result of the “What Men Want” actress receiving lowball salary offers despite the strides she’s made as a Black actress.
“I’m only human and it seems like every time I do something and I break another glass ceiling when it’s time to renegotiate I’m at the bottom again,” she said.
Henson admits that she’s grown “tired” of the constant fight to get paid what she’s worth.
The confession garnered strong responses on social media once the clip surfaced on Twitter/X. Some believe celebrities like Henson should “live within their means,” while others say the “Empire” star deserves to be paid the same as white actresses like Julia Roberts.
Prominent Actor Taraji P. Henson breaks out crying mid interview when discussing her financial situation and pay she receives as an accomplished actor. “The math ain’t mathing, every time I negotiate, it’s like I’m starting from the bottom.” Via @SIRIUSXM pic.twitter.com/eOFop58z4y— Black Millionaires ® (@Blackmillions_) December 20, 2023
“That breaks my heart for sure, @tarajiphenson because you’re phenomenal. You deserve your due as an Academy Award nominee,” one person wrote.
“She needs to create and start her OWN!!” added someone else “I’m sick and tired of this.”
“Twenty-plus years in the game and I hear the same thing, and I see what you do for another production but when it’s time to go to bat for us they don’t have enough money,” she told Gayle King.
“And I’m just supposed to smile and grin and bear it. Enough is enough! That’s why I have other [brands] because this industry, if you let it, it will steal your soul. I refuse to let that happen.”
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Source: Black Enterprise