When asked what the biggest challenge in her career is currently, “Empire” star Taraji P. Henson was honest: getting paid.
“I still have to fight for it,” Henson says. “We live in a world where people are always trying to get a bargain. You can’t bargain on my talent, I’m sorry… I’m not afraid to walk away because I know what I offer.”
The Power of Women honoree sat down with Variety to get candid about the realities of working in Hollywood. “A lot of work needs to be done in Hollywood for equal pay, inclusivity. I need to see more female directors, heads of studios need to change, things need to be all inclusive across the board.”
Henson’s fight to shine a light on difficult topics continues in her charity work with The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, an institution established to “eradicate the stigma around mental health issues in the African American community.”
“I find it very interesting that we can talk about things like breast cancer, or tumors or thyroids,” Henson says. “But overall health — in the black community — we never mention mental health.”
Inspired by the struggles of her father, a Vietnam veteran who struggled with mental health, Henson knows the first step is talking about the issues and, “lifting up the carpet and getting rid of our secrets… we gotta talk about people, it’s OK.”
Henson will be honored at Variety’s Power of Women luncheon on April 5 at Cipriani Midtown in New York, along with Bette Midler, Gigi Hadid, Christiane Amanpour and Kacey Musgraves.
“I figured it out early: if you didn’t get cast, or didn’t care to play the game, you’d better figure out how to put on your own show.” Words to live by from Bette Midler. The Divine Miss M was honored at Variety‘s Power of Women NY event presented by Lifetime. She returned the nod with songs, [...]
CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour called out the dangers of powerful leaders using “fake news” as a weapon against journalists “who go toward danger” to challenge despots and others. Amanpour cited the shocking statistic that “deliberate targeting is the leading cause of death for journalists” as she was feted Friday at Variety’s Power of [...]
Taraji P. Henson got emotional on Friday discussing the history and stigma of mental health in the black community at Variety’s Power of Women NY presented by Lifetime. “The history of mental illness for black people in America stretches all the way back 400 years, 15 million people, and an ocean that holds the stories,” [...]
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Tom Hanks and the team behind “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” dropped by the Variety studio over the weekend to discuss the new Mr. Rogers film, which premiered to rave reviews out of the Toronto Film Festival. Hanks was asked what he thought Mr. Rogers would say to children who are living in the age […]