Viola Davis' Call To 'Pay Me What I'm Worth' Is What The World Needs Now

The Oscar winner's fierce declaration reemerged on social media to turbocharge calls for equity in Hollywood.

Viola Davis fired up Twitter Tuesday ― in an encore presentation.

A clip of the Oscar, Emmy and Tony winner calling for equality recirculated on social media. In an interview for a 2018 Women in the World event, Davis challenged Hollywood: “You pay me what I’m worth.”

“I got the Oscar, I got the Emmy, I got the two Tonys, I’ve done Broadway, I’ve done off-Broadway, I’ve done TV, I’ve done film, I’ve done all of it,” she told Tina Brown in the clip. “I have a career that’s probably comparable to Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Sigourney Weaver. They all came out of Yale, they came out of Juilliard (which Davis attended), they came out of NYU. They had the same path as me, and yet I am nowhere near them. Not as far as money, not as far as job opportunities. nowhere close to it. But I have to get on that phone and people say you’re a Black Meryl Streep. There is no one like you. OK, then if there’s no one like me, you think I’m that, you pay me what I’m worth.”

Actor Gabrielle Union was among those applauding Davis’ message. “This!!!!!! All day THIS!!!!” she wrote.

Davis’ comments have resurfaced as a national outcry persists over racial injustice and police brutality, which in part has led to a reckoning on equality in the workplace and in Hollywood. Recently, Black actors and executives including Tessa Thompson, Issa Rae and Davis herself signed on to a letter calling for Hollywood to divest from police and invest in the Black community.


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