Gabrielle Union Speaks Up About Hollywood’s Color Pay Gap, Says, “I’m Asking For A Crumb…”

by Brianna Moné Williams

November 20, 2018

Photo by Gabriel Olsen via Getty Images

Gabrielle Union is not holding back when it comes to addressing the color pay gap in Hollywood. In an interview with fellow TV starlets, Ellen Pompeo, Emma Roberts and Gina Rodriguez for Porter Edit, Union spoke up about suppressing the feeling of knowing what you deserve with being grateful for what you’re getting as a woman of color in the entertainment industry.

“You feel like a jack***; you feel like you should be grateful and be quiet because it’s more [money] than others [make]. But at the same time, when those lists come out, when Forbes drops the top-paid actresses in television or the top-paid actresses in film, and there’s no women of color on it, it’s like well why didn’t you speak up?”

TORONTO, ON- SEPTEMBER 9 – Gabrielle Union on the red carpet of the world premiere of the movie The Public at the Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto. September 9, 2018. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

The former Being Mary Jane star and her team often worried about asking for more money when it came to knowing her worth because of the fear of losing out on a job altogether. Union expresses that she often felt that her value wasn’t seen as other actors and actresses on certain projects, which was reflected in the amount of money they got for these projects. And the star power of the new mother is worth just as much, if not more than those actors and actresses.

From starring in Bring It On, Think Like a Man, Daddy’s Little Girls, Deliver Us from Eva, Love & Basketball, and so many more movies and TV shows, Union’s scope, talent and worth is more than evident.

Ellen, who is also the highest paid woman on television is also speaking out about the gap in Hollywood. During the round table discussion with Union, Rodriguez, and Roberts, Ellen passionately pointed out Hollywood’s (and Net-A-Porter‘s) issue of not hiring racially inclusive production teams.

“This day has been incredible, and there’s a ton of women in the room. But I don’t see enough color. And I didn’t see enough color when I walked in the room today. I think it’s up to all productions to make sure that your crew looks like the world that you see. As Caucasian people, it’s our job. It’s our task, it’s our responsibility to make sure that we speak up in every single room that we walk into, that this is not okay, and that we can all do better. It’s our job because we’ve created the problem.”

Okay, Ellen! If you didn’t know, the Grey’s Anatomy star has been married to Chris Ivery, a Black producer for 11 years, and they have three children together.

Watch the whole video, here, where the actresses talk about worth, success, and empowering each other in the industry:

“I’m asking for a crumb compared to what you’ve actually paid and not gotten a return on…You just wanna work, but there comes a point where you think I’m not gonna feel good on set if I’m undervalued and my money doesn’t match my contribution,” Union further explained.

In an interview on Sister Circle earlier this year, Gabrielle spoke about how the issue is that others see the greatness in us way after the point that we see it in ourselves.

“We should never be surprised by our own greatness. It’s other people who have to catch up. We know what we’re capable of. Give me an opportunity. Just give me the same opportunity, the same playing field, and we will kill it! But it’s getting the opportunity first.” Watch more of the video below:

Gabrielle is continuing the conversation of the color pay gap, which is a ongoing issue, even for veterans in the game, like herself.

TELL US: What other stars do you think aren’t getting paid what they deserve?

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