"I have to get on that phone and people say, 'You're a Black Meryl Streep...There is no one like you.' Okay, then if there's no one like me, you think I'm that, you pay me what I'm worth."

By Kimberly Truong
Jul 01, 2020 @ 4:06 pm
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Viola Davis's powerful discussion of equality and discrimination in Hollywood still rings true, years after she spoke about it during an interview.

A clip from 2018 of the actress at the Women in the World event is going viral after it made the rounds on Twitter this week. In it, Davis discussed the racial pay gap she's seen as a Black actor in the industry.

"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," she said. "I have a career that's probably comparable to Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Sigourney Weaver. They all came out of Yale, they came out of Julliard, they came out of NYU. They had the same path as me, and yet I am nowhere near them, not as far as money, not as far as job opportunities, nowhere close to it."

She continued: "But I have to get on that phone and people say, 'You're a Black Meryl Streep...There is no one like you.' Okay, then if there's no one like me, you think I'm that you pay me what I'm worth. You give me what I'm worth."

The clip of the interview went viral after it was shared by public figures (including Gabrielle Union), praising Davis.

In an interview with InStyle on her role in How to Get Away With Murder last year, Davis said, she hopes to tell stories through which “people can redefine what it means to be a dark-skinned Black woman, where we’re not just always holding the baby, wearing aprons, cussing someone out or being the best friend with wise words of wisdom. It’s that lack of knowledge in putting myths out there and continuing them and seeing how destructive they have been within our community."