R&B star Mary J. Blige and director John Singleton presented Taraji P. Henson with her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday afternoon (Jan. 28). With tears in her eyes, the famed actress accepted the accolade before she gave her speech.
The honoree was at first overwhelmed by the surreal nature of the moment but then dived into her past films like Baby Boy and how she was able to extend her longevity in Hollywood in order to open doors for the next generation. “I fight for roles that will break through glass ceilings so that these young women coming behind me, they won’t have the same narrative that we have,” she said. “We can’t drop the torch now, ladies out there, anybody in the industry, but we also need our men. That’s why I love men, I protect them because we need each other. We can’t bash each other, we have to reach across the table and help each other.”
In a previous interview with Variety, the What Men Want star reflects on her resume and sets her sights on establishing a comedy empire. “I’m so happy and delighted I finally got to break the ceiling with comedy,” she said. That’s what I do! It was good to spend my summer laughing instead of crying. Hopefully, it opens the door for more to come; a big comedy franchise would be great. I’m just putting it out there in the universe!”
View this post on Instagram
WOOOOOWWWW!!!! This is just beautiful and LOVE. Thank you @tarajiquotes i am so touched by this. This compilation is years and years of HARD effin work and many dreams!!!! #GODIS I got my star on the HOLLYWOOD walk of fame today!!! Somehow I feel like I still have so much to do. I DO THIS FOR US…..FOR HUMANITY!!!! #artispowerful and #GODIS. Thank you to all of my fans new and the OG’s for ridding with me on this journey. I feel the love I receive the love I GIVE LOVE!!!! 🙏🏾💋💋💋
Prior to receiving this accolade, Henson made headlines for her take on R. Kelly and Harvey Weinstein. Taking to Instagram, the Washington D.C. native pointed out the difference between the #MuteRKelly and #MuteHarveryWeinstein hashtags, the former having more traction, as Henson wrote “Hmmmm.”
In a statement issued to The Associated Press, Henson addressed the fallout from her social media decision, noting that she was “just making an observation.”
“I never tried to say anything. I was just making an observation, and people know what side I’m on,” she continued. “Why would I launch a foundation for mental health in an African-American community for people to go somewhere to talk to somebody about traumatic experiences and then side with the predator? Does that make sense? So that backlash pretty much came from people that want to see me fail anyway because there’s no way if you follow my career, you got that confused.”