Viola Davis: “Pay Me What I’m Worth” 

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  • Viola Davis:

    “Pay Me What I’m Worth” 

    (arranged by AM Staff)

    (Viola Davis)


    Pay Me What I’m Worth!


    “What they (Caucasian women) are getting paid, which is half of what a man is getting paid…we (African-American women) get probably a tenth of what a Caucasian woman gets. And I’m number one on the callsheet.”

    “And then, I have to go in and I have to hustle for my worth. That’s what I feel like I’m doing. Listen, I have more than a 30-year professional career!”

  • “I had a friend who said, “Yeah, but Viola, your career is better than my career.”

    “I said, “Yeah, but you can’t compare me to you.”

    “Because, once again, 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.”

    “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 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!”

    “And, yet, I have to constantly get on that phone and people say, “You’re a black Meryl Streep. You are. And we love you. We LOVE you. 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. You give me what I’m worth!”


    We get probably a tenth of what a Caucasian woman gets.


    “Even in terms of roles…because when I delve into a role, I want something complicated, too. I do. Just like [an architect] wants to build the most unbelievable building. That’s what I do as a human being, as an artist. I want to build the most complicated human being.”

    “But [the role] I get is, “the third girl from the left.”

    (Viola Davis (Fences, How to Get Away with Murder, The Help) speaking at the Women in the World Forum in Los Angeles)


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