Taraji P. Henson Clarifies That Oprah Winfrey Made Her 'Feel Heard' After Speaking Out About Being Underpaid | lovebscott.com

Taraji P. Henson Clarifies That Oprah Winfrey Made Her ‘Feel Heard’ After Speaking Out About Being Underpaid

Taraji P. Henson has been talking a lot about pay disparity in Hollywood while out promoting ‘The Color Purple,’ but she wants to make clear that Oprah is on her side.

via People:

On Instagram Thursday, the Oscar-nominated actress, 53, acknowledged the social media responses to her Tuesday interview with Gayle King for SiriusXM radio, when she expressed she was “tired of working so hard” and “getting paid a fraction of the cost.”

“Thank you for responding to my message with the compassion, understanding and support that I’ve received,” Henson wrote in the caption, sharing a photo of her and Oprah Winfrey, executive producer of the new movie musical The Color Purple.

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

Winfrey, she then wrote, “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.”

Henson concluded by thanking Winfrey, 69: “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.”

Keke Palmer, who was among the stars who reshared Henson’s candid interview and spoke out about pay disparities, commented on the Instagram post: “I love you sistaaaaha REAL BAD.”

Henson broke down in tears during the SiriusXM interview when King asked about past comments the Empire Emmy nominee made about contemplating leaving her acting career behind. She told King and fellow guests, Color Purple costar Danielle Brooks and director Blitz Bazawule, that she was “tired of hearing my sisters saying the same thing over and over,” regarding what she categorized as a pay gap for Black women working in Hollywood. 

“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.”

She voiced her frustration that “every time I do something and I break another glass ceiling, when it’s time to renegotiate I’m at the bottom again like I never did what I just did…  It wears on you, you know, ’cause what does that mean? What does that tell me?”

“Not a damn lie told. Not. A. Damn. Lie,” Gabrielle Union wrote in a post on X, resharing the clip from Henson’s interview.

Viola Davis reposted the clip on her Instagram account, adding the simple caption: “This!!!! THIS!!!”

In 2022, Henson indicated on the PEOPLE Every Day podcast that she’s considered leaving the U.S. “I’m really considering getting up out of here, leaving and living in another country,” she said at the time. “That’s something that comes with 50, you get tired of fighting. I’m tired.”

Henson plays Shug Avery in the new Color Purple movie, which is adapted from the hit 1985 film and 2005 Broadway musical and costars Fantasia Barrino, Colman Domingo, Louis Gossett Jr., David Alan Grier, Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Deon Cole, Corey Hawkins, H.E.R. and more.

The Color Purple is in theaters Christmas Day.

We’re not ones to be messy (lol), but we wouldn’t be surprised if Taraji’s post came at Oprah’s request.


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