“I’ve watched men get rich off of the films that I’ve done and I was being paid peanuts” – Nia Long

Nia Long
Nia Long

One of Hollywood’s finest actresses Nia Long has had her own fair share of challenges on getting what is due to her. In an Essence article, Nia is quoted speaking to Associated Press about her frustrations of not being paid as well as her male counterparts. “I have watched a lot of men get rich off of the films that I’ve done and I was being paid peanuts,” she stated.

With a career spanning 30 years, Nia has been one of the most consistent actresses of her time, and her work speaks for itself. Even though she has more experience, earning her stripes as a household name, the 47-year-old still struggles to be remunerated accordingly. “When I requested or wanted more, I was considered difficult, outspoken, entitled, and all of the things that should not be used to describe a woman who has earned her space, her place and delivers,” she said, adding that, “And that just doesn’t apply to me, that’s for everyone.”

For the Are We There Yet star, it’s a relief that women are finally speaking out on being exploited. “Women are more inclined to have those in-the-kitchen conversations with one another where we can just talk freely about all the things that we’ve been shamed [for]”, she continued.

Hollywood has been under a lot of scrutiny for underpaying female stars. Tracee Ellis Ross also came forward earlier this year and disclosed the pay gap issue between her and her co-star Anthony Anderson on the hit series Black-ish. According to US Today, Ross had to renegotiate her contract during the fourth season of the show.

“I wanted to be compensated in a way that matches my contribution to a show that I love for many reasons, including the opportunity it allows me to reshape what it is to be a fully realised Black woman on TV,” Tracee wrote in a statement. “I’m truly thankful that important conversations are taking place about fighting for women’s worth and equality, tightening the pay gap in every industry”, she added.

Also adding their voices to this important conversation were fellow actresses Mo’nique Hicks and Octavia Spencer, just to name a few.

Sources: US Today, Essence, Associated Press

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