Monday, July 4, 2022

Hollywood Refuses to Pay Angela Bassett What Her White Counterparts Earn

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Angela Bassett/Getty

*Angela Bassett and her co-stars on Fox’s hit drama “9-1-1” have secured pay increases ahead of Season 5, with the actress reportedly making “north of $450,000 an episode,” Deadline reports. But as noted by Black Enterprise, Bassett still trails behind her counterparts. 

Here’s more from the outlet:

Sofia Vergara raked in $500,000 an episode of Modern Family by the show’s end, while Big Bang actress Kaley Cuoco received $900,000 per episode during the show’s final seasons, Vanity Fair reports.

Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo brings in $575,000 an episode while her costar Chandra Wilson makes $375,000. Over on the streaming platforms, the salaries overshadow those of TV networks. Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston reportedly earned around $2 million per episode for Apple TV+’s The Morning Show, while Kerry Washington earned $1 million an episode when appearing in Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere alongside Witherspoon.

READ MORE: Angela Bassett and ‘9-1-1’ Cast Secure Pay Increase Ahead of Season 5

ANGELA BASSETT

It’s also worth noting that Kerry Washington made $250,000 per episode by the end of “Scandal,” TV Line reports. Viola Davis earned $450,000 by the end of “How to Get Away with Murder.”

We previously reported, per Deadline, Bassett’s “911” salary “is believed to be among the top salaries on network television for any actor — male or female — and could be the highest ever for an actress of color on a broadcast drama series,” the outlet writes. 

The website for “9-1-1″ says the series is based on “the real-life, high-pressure experiences of emergency response providers,” but Bassett’s character was created just for the show. Series creator Ryan Murphy previously told the New York Post that the cases depicted on the show come from actual 9-1-1 calls, but that he chose Bassett as the main character because of her acting skills, per Bustle.

“I like her when she’s emotional and I love it when she takes charge. Putting her in a family drama along with a workplace drama merges those two things into one superstar package,” Murphy said.

Bassett, who starred in four seasons of Mur[hy’s “American Horror Story,” stars as Detective Athena Grant on the procedural, and as noted by the New York Post, she deals with a wide variety of emergencies on the show.

When asked what it’s like to wear a cop uniform, Bassett explained; “The guns and belts are extremely heavy and awkward. The polyester tailored shirt is tucked in a little bit, which makes it a little more constricting. It may be a cop uniform, but it’s a Ryan Murphy show so it looks good.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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