Viola Davis To Hollywood: If I’m A Black Meryl Streep, Then “Pay Me What I’m Worth”

Movies & TV

Although Viola Davis is one of the most celebrated thespians of the generation, she says her pay does not reflect the praise. The Emmy, Oscar and Tony Award-winning actress spoke at Women in the World Salon in Los Angeles Tuesday (Feb. 13), where she discussed her compensation in comparison to white actresses of her caliber.

“People say, ‘You’re a black Meryl Streep …we love you. There is no one like you,” she said to the host, Tina Brown. “Okay, then if there’s no one like me, you think I’m that, you pay me what I’m worth.”

The How To Get Away With Murder actress also explained that she’s done the best she can do, given the roles she’s had throughout the years.

“As an artist I want to build the most complicated human being but what I get is the third girl from the left,” she continued. “I’m not hustling for my worth. I’m worthy. When I came out of my mom’s womb, I came in worthy.”

“It cost me a lot to be on that stage and share my personal story,” she told Brown. “The way life works is its got to cost you something. That’s when you know you really made the sacrifices. If you’re dedicated to change, let it cost you something.”

Check out her comments below.