Taraji P. Henson is speaking more about the pay disparity she experienced while working on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
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Henson has notably talked about the issue over the years, but added even more context on a recent episode of The Real. She opened up about how she realized she was making way less than her co-stars, who included Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. She said that even though she was supposed to net a total amount of $150,000, she only took home less than $50,000 after taxes. Meanwhile, her co-stars earned millions.
“When you start making that kind of money Uncle Sam takes 50 percent, so let’s do the math,” she said, according to the Atlanta Black Star. “So that leaves me with $75,000, then I have to pay another 30 percent to my team who did all the work to get me that job. So, I don’t pay them the 30 percent of the $75,000…I pay them 30 percent of the $150,000.”
She also said that because filming a movie “takes you off the market for anything else or any other kind of coin” for the five or so months it takes to finish the project, she wasn’t seeing any other major income. With the money she ended up taking home from Benjamin Button, she had just enough to pay for her son’s $30,000 high school tuition.
“I chose my son’s education over fancy cars and all those things, and so literally for five months, that’s what I made, his tuition,” she said. “Now what? I gotta hit the pavement again and I gotta scrounge up another check, so that is how it works.”
Henson explained she never expected to earn as much as her co-stars, but she also expects to be paid what she’s worth.
“[T]hey have worked to get their quote, they deserve exactly what they’re getting,” she said. “But, however, I deserve a little more too.”
Watch the interview below: