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HomeGeneralDenzel Washington Makes Forbes’ List of Highest-Paid Actors of 2023

Denzel Washington Makes Forbes’ List of Highest-Paid Actors of 2023

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Denzel Washington
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With campaigns like #OscarsSoWhite and tales of wage discrimination, the shortage of range on Forbes’ list of the best-paid actors in 2023 isn’t surprising. Denzel Washington, a veteran actor, became the only Black, indigenous individual of color (BIPOC) featured, ranking 10th on the list.

Financial imbalances between excluded minorities and white peers have long been a social justice issue. However, the significant wage discrepancy seen when using Black performers, as evidenced by public information on celebrity earnings, is difficult to deny.

Gender disparities among actors account for the largest substantive pay disparity. According to the National Partnership for Girls and Families, black actresses make around 64 cents for every $1 earned by white, non-Hispanic male performers. This figure  climbs to sixty-eight cents for Black female makers and administrators.

While advocates for equal pay for Black women do exist, Taraji P. Henson stands out as one of the most recent examples. Throughout the press tour for the musical adaptation of the 1985 film “The Color Purple,” Henson frankly highlighted the problems she has faced in the industry.

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“I’m just tired of working so hard, being gracious at what I do, getting paid a fraction of the cost,” Henson said to TV personality Gayle King in a SiriusXM interview. “I’m tired of hearing my sisters say the same thing over and over. You get tired. I hear people go, ‘You work a lot.’ I have to.

The math ain’t mathing. And when you start working a lot, you have a team. Big bills come with what we do. We don’t do this alone. It’s a whole entire team behind us. They have to get paid.”

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Wage discrepancies among various groups highlight the significance of Denzel Washington’s inclusion on the Forbes list. Washington, with his impressive history as an actor and producer, deserves his plaudits and wealth.

According to Forbes, the 69-year-old grossed $28 million in 2023. However, his sole presence on the list helps to highlight the absence of other Black actors, particularly Black women.

ALSO READ: 38 Years Later: Inside Denzel Washington and Pauletta Pearson’s Love Story

Efforts to pay Black women what they are truly worth are ongoing, but Black male performers have also faced demanding compensation situations. A previous document from AFROTECH™ exposed Terrence Howard’s feelings of being underpaid for his work compared to other non-POC entertainers.

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Two things can be true: Washington receives honor and respect for his high-earning potential, and the work to ensure more BIPOC actors are given the same fairness as far as value in this business is concerned must continue to be present.

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