Actress Nia Long (Empire, NCIS Los Angeles) discussed her journey in Hollywood as a strong woman of color and the backlash she often receives for speaking up for herself and demanding to be paid what she is worth.
Long told the Associated Press:
“I have watched a lot of men get rich off of the films that I’ve done and I was being paid peanuts. When I requested or wanted more, I was considered difficult, outspoken, entitled, and all of the things that should not be used to describe a woman who has earned her space, her place and delivers and that just doesn’t apply to me, that’s for everyone.”
With the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements coming into public awareness, things are slowly (ever so slowly) changing.
“I think we are talking about it. Women are more inclined to have those in-the-kitchen conversations with one another where we can just talk freely about all the things that we’ve been shamed [for].”
There is still a long way to go in the fight for equal pay, especially for women of color.
Fans agree that knowing your worth is not “being difficult.”
Nia will forever be the GOAT!
— Black Women Freelancers (@BlackGirlGroup) November 18, 2018
"If we’re gonna have that conversation about pay equity, we gotta bring the women of color to the table.” @octaviaspencer @NiaLong @BritniDWrites #equalpay Nia Long Says She’s Been Called ‘Difficult’ Because She Asked To Be Paid Fairly https://t.co/pwOWL7Kk20 via @ESSENCE
— A Better Balance (@ABetterBalance) August 29, 2018
Her message reached across social media.
We seem to use different words for different people — even when the actions are the same.