taraji p. Henson,

‘The Math Ain’t Mathing’: Taraji P. Henson Teary-Eyed Over Plans To Quit Acting

Taraji Henson became emotional when asked about previous comments she made expressing plans to quit acting after 25 years of celebrated work.

Taraji P. Henson broke down when explaining her financial situation despite being an accomplished Academy Award-nominated actor.

Henson was among three members of The Color Purple cast who sat down with Gayle King for Sirius XM in an interview that aired Tuesday, Dec. 19 promoting the new movie musical. In a clip being heavily shared online, Henson became emotional when asked about previous comments she made expressing plans to quit acting after 25 years of celebrated work.

“I’m just tired of working so hard being gracious at what I do getting paid a fraction of the cost. I’m tired,” she said through tears.

“I’m tired of hearing my sisters say the same thing over and over you get tired,” she continued.

Henson explained why she keeps herself busy with film projects throughout the year.

“I hear people say, ‘You work a lot.’ You have to: the math ain’t mathing,” she said before explaining the “big bills” that come with being a high-profile actor.

“We don’t do this alone…it’s a whole entire team behind us. They have to get paid,” Henson explained.

The Hidden Figures star touched on the millions that actors get paid and how it quickly dwindles before the talent can get their cut. Someone who might’ve gotten paid $10 million for a movie can end up walking away with just $4 million after paying taxes and their team.

It’s the real-life financial struggle Henson is facing despite her success in Hollywood which has led to her think of calling it quits. The money woes come as a result of the What Men Want actress receiving lowball salary offers despite the strides she’s made as a Black actress.

“I’m only human and it seems like every time I do something and I break another glass ceiling when it’s time to renegotiate I’m at the bottom again,” she said.

Henson admitted that she’s grown “tired” of the constant fight to get paid what she’s worth.

The confession garnered strong responses on social media once the clip surfaced on Twitter/X. Some believe celebrities like Henson should “live within their means,” while others say the Empire star deserves to be paid the same as white actresses like Julia Roberts.

“That breaks my heart for sure, @tarajiphenson because you’re phenomenal. You deserve your due as an Academy Award nominee,” one person wrote.

“She needs to create and start her OWN!!” added someone else “I’m sick and tired of this.”

This isn’t the first time Henson has spoken out about the pay disparities in Hollywood. She first addressed it in her 2016 memoir, Around the Way Girl, when she revealed she was paid “less than 2%” of her co-star Brad Pitt’s salary in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button via The Guardian.

She later revealed she was paid $150,000 for the role, a bump from the initial $75,000 offer and far less than the half a million she expected considering she was only the third actress booked for the film.

Now after more than 20 years fighting the same fight, Henson is tired but refuses to let the pay disparities steal her joy.

“Twenty-plus years in the game and I hear the same thing, and I see what you do for another production but when it’s time to go to bat for us they don’t have enough money,” she told King. “And I’m just supposed to smile and grin and bear it. Enough is enough! That’s why I have other [brands] because this industry, if you let it, it will steal your soul. I refuse to let that happen.”

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