UPDATED: 11:30 a.m. ET, Aug. 26, 2020 —
This year’s Women’s Equality Day has taken on an updated sense of urgency amid national protests for social justice. And while much of the discourse has centered on law enforcement, women’s rights have also — and rightfully — been a part of the growing conversation being had by people from all walks of life.
That includes celebrities who, even though being paid upwards of millions of dollars, are still being shortchanged depending on gender as statistics show that women earn pennies on the dollar compared to their male counterparts. That wage gap can get even wider when factoring in race.
Read on to find 8 Black celebrities who are demanding an end to the gender pay gap.
Actress Vanessa Morgan in June called out “pay inequality between her and her White costars,” according to Madame Noire.
The “Riverdale” star tweeted that she was “the only black series regular but also paid the least.”
While the tweet was accompanied by an “lol” and a crying laughing emoji, it also brought attention to something that is no laughing matter and a cause that has been championed by other Black celebrities for years now.
Curry, who has been on a winning streak with the Golden State Warriors, penned a powerful essay arguing for equal salaries in The Players’ Tribune in 2018. The NBA star was inspired by his chef and author wife Ayesha Curry and two daughters, Ryan, 3, and Riley, 6.
“I want our girls to grow up knowing that there are no boundaries that can be placed on their futures, period,” Curry said. “I want them to grow up in a world where their gender does not feel like a rulebook for what they should think, or be, or do. And I want them to grow up believing that they can dream big, and strive for careers where they’ll be treated fairly.”
Curry continued, “And of course: paid equally. And I think it’s important that we all come together to figure out how we can make that possible, as soon as possible. Not just as “fathers of daughters,” or for those sorts of reasons. And not just on Women’s Equality Day. Every day — that’s when we need to be working to close the pay gap in this country. Because every day is when the pay gap is affecting women. And every day is when the pay gap is sending the wrong message to women about who they are, and how they’re valued, and what they can or cannot become.”
“It’s time for the Entertainment Industry to take a hard look at its pay and compensation practices above and below the line to make sure all productions meet the legal — and moral — requirement to pay fairly without discrimination,” the letter, which will be delivered to the heads of major studios, networks and production companies, said.
The entertainment industry has long been plagued by a wage bias: gender segregation and stereotyping have contributed to a salary disparity for women of “hundreds or even thousands of dollars per week less than [their] counterparts in comparable male-dominated crafts,” according to a 2018 study released by Working IDEAL, a workplace consultant company specializing in pay equity and diversity assessments.
Shonda Rhimes, who has lent her voice to the Times’ Up movement against sexual harassment, also stood up for women’s equality.