Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle Union Explains How Hollywood ‘Screws' Black Actresses Out of Big Paydays

Gabrielle Union explained how she has exposed Hollywood studios for "low-balling me based off of nothing," as she fights for pay equity within the entertainment industry

Gabrielle Union
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Gabrielle Union is done with the "low-balling."

The "L.A.'s Finest" actress spoke on the Sept. 21 episode of "9 to 5ish" with theSkimm about how movie studios "screw" Black stars out of big paydays. What's more, she shared her strategy for avoiding bad offers, explaining that the best way to fight against pay disparity is by joining forces with other stars.

"As Black actresses, there's almost shame involved, because we get paid so much less," she said. "When those Forbes lists come out about highest paid actors, you're like, 'Oh, I'm a failure... That's what they're making? And I'm nowhere close.'"

Union said actresses get screwed over when they don't share their salary info with each other.

"They assume, justifiably, rightly so, that none of us are talking," she went on. "And that's how they screw each other, because somebody will be the carrot person."

As she recalled, "Sometimes you don't even know you're the carrot person. They're like, 'Well, Taraji [P. Henson] closed at -- I'm using fictitious numbers -- a million. I mean, otherwise, Taraji's going to take it.' And you're like, 'OK, well, $350,000, I guess.' And Taraji's like, 'Girl, I've made, $4 million.' You're like, 'Wait, what?'"

Inside Gabrielle Union's Memoir You Got Anything Stronger?

But she said her friends "got that s--t out of the way quick."

Now, Union knows her worth and makes sure to communicate with fellow stars.

"So, we're all like, 'What are they offering you? OK, so this studio, they do have money... Which person in business affairs were you talking to?'" shared the mother of five, who recently published her memoir "You Got Anything Stronger?."

Her conversations with other actresses gives them all the information that they could potentially use in negotiations: "So, you're like, 'OK, now please tell me again why you're low-balling me based off of nothing, hoping that I'm an idiot.'" As she put it, "They just hope you don't know your worth."

Listen to the entire conversation about racial pay disparity here.

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