The Color Purple
, at its core, is a radical feminist text about self-worth and what Black women deserve. Walker wrote it 40 years ago. To me, it’s fitting that we are now having conversations surrounding the film about what Black women are worth and what they deserve. Taraji P. Henson garnered an Oscar nomination for her work in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
opposite Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett and in her memoir she revealed that they “got millions”
while she had to push for a salary of 150,000 (which she had to negotiate for
). After taxes and paying her team, she walked away with $40,000. That works out to, reportedly, “less than 2%” of what Pitt earned. Henson has repeatedly said she thinks the leads earned their paychecks, but that she did too, and she was scared to push for more over concerns she would be replaced. See, how Hollywood works is that if you’re Black you’re replaceable and if you’re white, you’re worth millions. That movie came out in 2008. For years, Henson has been having the same conversation about how she’s had to fight for more in this industry. It’s not fair. And this is Taraji P. Henson
we’re talking about. She has starred in hit TV shows (most famously as Cookie Lyon on Empire
) and countless classic movies. If she’s not getting paid her due, who is?