A 2018 clip has resurfaced of Viola Davis shutting down comparisons between her and Meryl Streep, especially when she isn’t being paid fairly.
Viola Davis co-starred with Meryl Streep in the 2008 film Doubt, which earned her an Oscar nomination. By 2017, Davis would win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in Fences and tons of critical acclaim.
In early 2018, there were demands to pay women fairly in Hollywood but in an interview with Tina Brown at the Women in the World Los Angeles Salon, Davis reminded people about the intersection of race.
“What they’re getting paid — which is half of what a man is getting paid — well, we get probably a tenth of what a Caucasian woman gets. And I’m No. 1 on the call sheet,” she explained.
“I got the Oscar, I got the Emmy, I got the two Tonys. I’ve done Broadway, I’ve done Off Broadway, I’ve done TV, I’ve done film. I’ve done all of it. And yet, I am nowhere near them, not as far as money, not as far as job opportunities. Nowhere close to it.”
She also addressed the Meryl Streep comparisons, “People say, ‘You’re a Black Meryl Streep. You are. And we love you. We love you. There is no one like you.’ Okay, then if there’s no one like me, if you think I’m that, you pay me what I’m worth. You give me what I’m worth.”
The video resurfaced after a retweet from Gabrielle Union, see below: