Oscar Award-winning “Beale Street” star Regina King is one of the most successful stars in Hollywood.
But her journey to stardom has not been an easy one. And as Hollywood struggles to become a more diverse environment amidst the recent racial tension, King is hoping to see more meaningful change.
And not just the standard tokenistic gestures we’ve become accustomed to.
The pay gap between male and female actors is still a pressing issue.
In 2017, a comparison of the highest-paid male and female actors revealed an average salary of $57.4 million for men and $21.8 million for women — meaning that female actors earned just 38% as much as the top male actors.
“With a lot of women doing the same amount of work, we’re also mothers, so we’re doing more work when we get home and managing from the set. [For example,] when you get that phone call that the dog got out [of the house]. I’m not saying you fathers don’t get those calls, but I don’t see them as often as I do with mothers. So we have a long way to go with a lot of things. I hope I get the opportunity before I leave Earth to see change in a more significant way.”
According to a report by UWM labor economist John Heywood, female stars in the nation’s movie capital earn an average of $1 million less per film than their male counterparts.
King is not the only actress to speak out against the pay disparity.
In 2018, Viola Davis went viral after a clip of her addressing the topic hit social media.
“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. “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.”
She continued: “But I have to get on that phone and people say, ‘You’re a Black Meryl Streep…There is no one like you.’ Okay, 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.”