After winning an Oscar, an Emmy and two Tony Awards, Viola Davis has proven herself as one of the world’s leading actresses, but she still has to fight for equality in her paycheck.
“I want and I expect to get the same filet mignon that white actresses get. Cooked at the exact temperature,” she says in InStyle‘s December cover story. “You cannot throw me a bone with a really nice little piece of meat still on it and expect that’s good enough for me.”
“I love my collard greens and all of that, and I know we were given the leftovers,” she adds. “I know how to cook that, but I want a filet mignon.”
Davis has been one of the most vocal actresses about pay discrimination since the #TimesUp movement against sexual harassment led to revelations about the topic.
“It’s only until you reach a certain point, and maybe you have a certain level of expectation, that you realize you are not like everyone else,” she says. “In Hollywood, actresses don’t share their salary with each other while they’re sitting around drinking a glass of wine.”
“A huge part of that, I’ll say, is ego,” she notes. “Ego because you don’t want people to know that you make less than what they think you make.”
“There should be solidarity with everyone. Solidarity with Caucasian women and women of color,” the How to Get Away with Murder star adds. “The differences in pay and the lack of access to opportunities are huge. I fully expect changes. I’m trying to lift my hopes up.”
Davis latest role has her co-starring with the late Chadwick Boseman in the film adaptation of the August Wilson play Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, premiering December 18 on Netflix
By Ken Simmons
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— Viola Davis (@violadavis) November 9, 2020