Friday, July 23, 2021

Taraji P. Henson Reveals She Was Paid a Measly $40K for ‘Benjamin Button’

Taraji P. Henson
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*Taraji P. Henson has revealed that she was only paid $40k for her role in “The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button.” 

Speaking in a new interview, the actress talked about being paid less than her white co-stars in the 2008 fantasy drama. In the film, Pitt plays a man who ages in reverse. He and Henson’s performances garnered Academy Award nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.

“I felt like what I was asking, at that time of my career, was fair to the ticket sales that I would contribute to this big film,” Henson told the Ladies First With Laura Brown podcast. “[The studio] wouldn’t do it… and then I was gutted.”

Henson only earned $40K her work on the box office hit that grossed over $300 million worldwide.

Elsewhere in the interview, Henson talked about having to fight for pay equality in Hollywood. 

“I understand why we took that on, Black women being the bottom of the totem pole, never being seen,” she said. “I understand, but it’s when others go, ‘Yes, strong Black woman!’ and then dismisses us.”

READ MORE: Gabourey Sidibe Opens Up to Taraji P. Henson About Bulimia & Depression Issues / WATCH

She continued: “Then if my child or somebody I know is gunned down in the streets, I’m supposed to be strong through that? I’m not allowed to be angry? I’m not allowed to be pissed off? I can’t say [anything back] because you’ve taken everything from me. I’m not allowed to feel that? I’m just supposed to be strong?”

You can currently catch Henson hosting a mental health talk show, “Peace of Mind With Taraji,” on Facebook Watch. 

“What we get to do is take the community inside of an actual therapy session, so it doesn’t feel so scary,” Henson previously said of the show, which she co-hosts with her best friend and mental health non-profit leader Tracie Jade

“Hopefully, we’re helping folk to identify maybe some of the symptoms that they’re having, or family members are having, and apply that in a therapy session, go to a therapist, and actually work those challenges out,” Jade said in a statement.

“We stay away from having these vulnerable conversations with people because what are you going to do with that information?” she added. “We wanted to shine a light on the other side of that and say, there are some culturally competent therapists out there, people who look like you and me, or those who at least understand the context of the way that we live, that can help us work through our problems.”

Henson previously said about the show: “I’ve long been a mental health advocate for the Black community and created the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation in 2018 that has provided resources to thousands of people who are struggling,” she explained. “I’m looking forward to bringing this new talk series to Facebook Watch, where I can continue to create conversation around an issue that is near and dear to my heart.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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