Viola Davis to Hollywood: If I’m the ‘Black Meryl Streep,’ ‘Pay Me What I’m Worth’

“We get probably a tenth of what a Caucasian woman gets, and I’m number one on the call sheet,” the “How to Get Away With Murder” actress says

Last Updated: February 18, 2018 @ 5:04 AM

Viola Davis said she faces both a gender pay gap in Hollywood — and an additional income inequality compared to white actresses with similar training, experience and talent.

“What they’re getting paid — which is half of what a man is getting paid — well, we get probably a tenth of what a Caucasian woman gets. And I’m No. 1 on the call sheet,” she said referring to African-American women in an interview for Women in the World.

True, the “How to Get Away With Murder” star admitted she has had a career better than most SAG card holders, one that she said is probably comparable to Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Sigourney Weaver and others. But it still doesn’t add up.

“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 said. “And yet, I am nowhere near them, not as far as money, not as far as job opportunities. Nowhere close to it.”

She has all that going for her, but she said she still gets on the phone and hustles for every job, and frequently hears the same old thing.

“People say, ‘You’re a black Meryl Streep. You are. And we love you. We love you. There is no one like you,'” she said, mimicking potential employers. “OK, then if there’s no one like me, if you think I’m that, you pay me what I’m worth. You give me what I’m worth.”

You can watch the interview by clicking here.