During a talk for the Women in the World Salon event in Los Angeles, Davis spoke to journalist Tina Brown about being underpaid throughout her 30-year career, compared to her white contemporaries. “I have a career that’s probably comparable to Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Sigourney Weaver,” she said, according to Entertainment Weekly.
“They all came out of Yale, they came out of Julliard, 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.” Davis herself is a graduate of Julliard.
Davis’ struggle is similar to that of black women in all industries. White women make about 79 cents to the man’s dollar. Black women on the other hand only make 63 cents. “People say, ‘You’re a black Meryl Streep…We love you. There is no one like you,’” she explained. “OK, then if there’s no one like me, you think I’m that, you pay me what I’m worth.”
The How To Get Away With Murder star is also frustrated with how many roles and what kind of roles she is offered compared to her white peers. “As an artist I want to build the most complicated human being but what I get is the third girl from the left,” she said.
Davis then told Brown something that probably resonates with many women of color in this country: She’s tired of working twice as hard to prove her worth. “It’s gotten to the point [where] I’m no longer doing that,” she said. “I’m not hustling for my worth. I’m worthy. When I came out of my mom’s womb, I came in worthy.”
That right, it's all on you Hollywood. Time to pay up.