UPDATED: 11:30 a.m. ET, Aug. 26, 2020 —
This year’s Women’s Equality Day has taken on an updated sense of urgency amid national protests for social justice. And while much of the discourse has centered on law enforcement, women’s rights have also — and rightfully — been a part of the growing conversation being had by people from all walks of life.
That includes celebrities who, even though being paid upwards of millions of dollars, are still being shortchanged depending on gender as statistics show that women earn pennies on the dollar compared to their male counterparts. That wage gap can get even wider when factoring in race.
Read on to find 8 Black celebrities who are demanding an end to the gender pay gap.
Actress Vanessa Morgan in June called out “pay inequality between her and her White costars,” according to Madame Noire.
The “Riverdale” star tweeted that she was “the only black series regular but also paid the least.”
While the tweet was accompanied by an “lol” and a crying laughing emoji, it also brought attention to something that is no laughing matter and a cause that has been championed by other Black celebrities for years now.
Curry, who has been on a winning streak with the Golden State Warriors, penned a powerful essay arguing for equal salaries in The Players’ Tribune in 2018. The NBA star was inspired by his chef and author wife Ayesha Curry and two daughters, Ryan, 3, and Riley, 6.
“I want our girls to grow up knowing that there are no boundaries that can be placed on their futures, period,” Curry said. “I want them to grow up in a world where their gender does not feel like a rulebook for what they should think, or be, or do. And I want them to grow up believing that they can dream big, and strive for careers where they’ll be treated fairly.”
Curry continued, “And of course: paid equally. And I think it’s important that we all come together to figure out how we can make that possible, as soon as possible. Not just as “fathers of daughters,” or for those sorts of reasons. And not just on Women’s Equality Day. Every day — that’s when we need to be working to close the pay gap in this country. Because every day is when the pay gap is affecting women. And every day is when the pay gap is sending the wrong message to women about who they are, and how they’re valued, and what they can or cannot become.”
“It’s time for the Entertainment Industry to take a hard look at its pay and compensation practices above and below the line to make sure all productions meet the legal — and moral — requirement to pay fairly without discrimination,” the letter, which will be delivered to the heads of major studios, networks and production companies, said.
The entertainment industry has long been plagued by a wage bias: gender segregation and stereotyping have contributed to a salary disparity for women of “hundreds or even thousands of dollars per week less than [their] counterparts in comparable male-dominated crafts,” according to a 2018 study released by Working IDEAL, a workplace consultant company specializing in pay equity and diversity assessments.
Shonda Rhimes, who has lent her voice to the Times’ Up movement against sexual harassment, also stood up for women’s equality.
Women's History Month: Celebrating Black Women Pioneers And Their Many Historic Firsts
1. Kamala Harris, first woman and Black woman Vice President of the United StatesSource:Getty 1 of 21
2. Barbara Jordan, First Black Woman Elected Into Congress from the SouthSource:Getty 2 of 21
3. Bianca Smith, MLB’s first Black woman coach
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"I only saw women in the front office. I didn't see women on the field, so it never occurred to me to be a coach until I actually got on the field myself and realized, 'Okay this is something I can do.'"@RedSox coach Bianca Smith is ready to pave the way. pic.twitter.com/unnoZoAH4L— MLB (@MLB) February 3, 2021
4. Mae C. Jemison, First Black Woman in SpaceSource:Getty 4 of 21
5. Amanda Gorman, the nation’s youngest inaugural poetSource:Getty 5 of 21
6. Bessie Coleman, First Black Woman PilotSource:Getty 6 of 21
7. Mellody Hobson, first Black woman to chair Starbucks' boardSource:Getty 7 of 21
8. Mary Jackson, First Black Woman to Work for NASASource:Getty 8 of 21
9. Meisha Ross Porter, first Black woman to be NYC Schools ChancellorSource:NYC Dept. Of Education 9 of 21
10. Hattie McDaniel, First Black Woman to Win an Academy AwardSource:Getty 10 of 21
11. Jennifer King, First Black Woman NFL CoachSource:Getty 11 of 21
12. Alice Coachman, First Black Woman To Win an Olympic Gold MedalSource:Getty 12 of 21
13. Oprah Winfrey, First Black Woman BillionaireSource:Getty 13 of 21
14. Madam C.J. Walker, First Woman Millionaire In AmericaSource:Getty 14 of 21
15. Nia DaCosta, first Black woman to direct a Marvel movieSource:Getty 15 of 21
16. Mariya Russell, First Black Woman Chef to Earn a Michelin Star
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Meet Mariya Russell, the first Black woman to win a Michelin star in the guide’s 94-year history pic.twitter.com/ZYIq5KqmPL— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 27, 2020
17. Whoopi Goldberg, First Black Woman to Win EGOT (Academy Award, 1990), (Emmy, 2002 & 2009), (Grammy, 1985) and (Tony, 2002)Source:Getty 17 of 21
18. Rebecca Lee Crumpler, First Black Woman to Become a Doctor of Medicine in the U.S.
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This #BlackHistoryMonth we’re highlighting notable African-American public health figures. Meet Rebecca Lee Crumpler, the first African-American woman physician. She authored the “Book of Medical Discourses” containing medical advice for women & children. https://t.co/UeUNE1eVRL— FairfaxCounty Health (@fairfaxhealth) February 26, 2020
19. Serena Williams, First Black Woman to Win a Career Grand Slam in TennisSource:Getty 19 of 21
20. Loretta Lynch, First Black Woman to be Attorney General of the U.S.Source:Getty 20 of 21
21. Stacey Abrams, First Black Woman to be a Major Party Nominee for State GovernorSource:Getty 21 of 21
8 Black Celebrities Who Are Demanding An End To The Gender Pay Gap was originally published on newsone.com