Actresses of colour are banding together to fight for equal pay in Hollywood

As a woman of colour in Hollywood, it seems like no matter how talented you are it’s not so easy to get equivalent pay to match that of white contemporaries. Several actresses are now coming out to fight for equal pay in Hollywood. Together they may begin to see some changes in their paychecks.

According to a report of CBC, the movement is slowly gaining ground as several actresses of colourhave begun speaking about the unequal treatment. Nina Shaw who is an entertainment lawyer said that for the actresses to ascertain if they are being shortchanged, they should “find out what the people around them are making”. That seems to be the only way to establish whether they are being underpaid as compared to their white counterparts.

The "Being Mary Jane" star Gabrielle union who recently won a case against Viacomsaid recently that she had suffered the same fate. She asserted that she and other women of colour are discussing the issue and “little by little we’re communicating ...... we are so woefully underappreciated and disrespected”.

Hollywood researchers sayit is a bit difficult to estimate what every performer earns owing to the privacy of movie deals and roles. Some deals can get very complex with payments spanning over some weeks or months. Ana de la Reguera the "Power" star has continued advising women to learn the intricacies associated with navigating the Hollywood ladder, which she said is more challenging than other industries.

Gabrielle Union was once asked if she feels racism in Hollywood is affecting their paychecks and she replied in the affirmative, noting that there is no reason why women of colour should be paid less than their white co-workers.

Most of the Hollywood executives in charge of these decisions are mostly in support of these unequal payments, which leads the aggrieved parties to believe that Hollywood needs more feminists, especially those who would support the cause for equal payments for women of colour. Even an accomplished actress like Viola Davis who has won an Oscar and an Emmy said in an interview in 2018 that she isn’t paid what she is worth.

As African Americans and other women of colour fight for pay that matches their star power and critical acclaim, actresses of Asian descent who have very few numbers of leading roles in Hollywood also wish they could start a similar movement because they suffer the same fate as their African-American contemporaries.

With box office hits like “Crazy Rich Asians”, “Killing Eve” and the comical sitcom “fresh off the boat” Asian actresses still struggle to get lead roles and pay that is equivalent to their white contemporaries. The Biola University Professor and Author of the book “Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism”, Nancy Wang Yuen said the problem is that no movement or platform is advocating for the Asians in Hollywood.

This a problem the young Crazy Rich Asian star, Awkwafina will now face as she said she finds herself in a similar position. She says she intends to learn more on how most Hollywood payments work so she could be fairly compensated.


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