Sisterhood of the Fight for Equality
Over the past few years, actresses of color have landed larger roles and received greater acclaim for their work in the entertainment industry, but many of these women are not compensated fairly for their talents due to both gender and racial inequality, according to actresses like Gabrielle Union.
In an effort to close the pay gaps plaguing the entertainment industry, actresses of color are banding together to seek the money and the roles that they deserve, as the fight for equal pay continues.
“One of the first things we say is, ‘Find out what the people around you are making,’” said entertainment lawyer Nina Shaw. By sharing this information, the amount of communication increases between these women. This communication allows actresses of color to encourage each other and helps to navigate Hollywood and the entertainment industry.
Actress and equal rights advocate, Gabrielle Union spoke about the inequality that actresses of color face in the entertainment industry. “Based on the numbers that I know that black women, Latinas, Asian women, indigenous actors are making, there is no other logical reason why we are paid what we are paid versus what our contemporaries are paid who are lacking melanin,” Union said.
An analysis of TV’s broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms conducted by San Diego State University showed that women only had about 40% of speaking roles. With the opportunities available for women already limited, 67% of all female roles went to white actresses, further limiting the job prospects for actresses of color.
To create and implement these necessary changes within the entertainment industry will take time and dedication, but through sisterhood and togetherness, it is possible.