At a recent meeting of Time’s Up, the initiative spearheaded by Hollywood actresses with the aim of addressing sexual assault and workplace harassment and inequality, there was a lot said about Tracee Ellis Ross getting paid “significantly less” than her Black-ish co-star Anthony Anderson.
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According to the Hollywood Reporter, the conversation centered on the gender pay gap in Hollywood, with Ross’ example being discussed “at length,” according to one of THR’s sources.
The pay gap between Ross and Anderson is steep enough that she’s considering cutting back on her appearances on Black-ish so she can be featured on other shows, THR reports.
But that brings its own host of problems. The Hollywood Reporter explains:
With negotiations for the fifth season ongoing, sources say Ellis Ross feels that if she isn’t brought up to Anderson’s level, she may opt to appear in fewer episodes to make up the disparity by guesting on another show. The tactic has split opinions within Time’s Up, with some worried that it’s more a retreat than a forward-looking solution (fitting in extra work isn’t always feasible, and often an actress wouldn’t earn as much guesting as she would as a network star). A network source says a new deal will significantly increase her compensation and cautioned that Anderson and Ellis Ross’ roles aren’t equal given that he has been attached to Black-ish from the start and is an executive producer. Still, until a few weeks ago, this type of candid conversation would never have taken place outside an actress’ agency.
Of course, it’s unclear what “significantly less” means, but another egregious example discussed at the Time’s Up table was the pay difference between actress Michelle Williams and her co-star, Mark Wahlberg, for their recent film All the Money in the World. In that case, Wahlberg was paid nearly 10 times more than Williams, taking home $5 million, compared with Williams’ $625,000.
That Ross’ pay gap with Anderson was brought up in the same conversation could mean they’re facing a similarly severe pay disparity.
Both Ross and Anderson have starred on Black-ish since the show started running on ABC in 2014, and have received multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for their work on the series. Of the two, however, Ross is the only one to have taken home an award. In 2016 she became the first black woman in 35 years to win a Golden Globe for best actress in a comedy or musical TV series.