“There Were Never Any Threats” Tracee Ellis Ross Speaks Out About Pay Disparity And Future Blackish Appearances

January 21, 2018  |  

tracee ellis ross clears up pay disparity

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A few days ago, social media was set on fire when word got out that all wasn’t well in the Johnson household. Earlier this week it was revealed that actress Tracee Ellis Ross who plays Dr. Rainbow Johnson, one half of the head of the Johnson household on ABC’s Blackish, was being paid significantly less than her co-star Anthony Anderson. According to The Hollywood Reporter, during a recent Time’s Up meeting it was shared that if Ross’s request for equal pay weren’t met during negotiations she would devote less time to the show:

“With negotiations for the fifth season ongoing, sources say Ellis Ross feels that if she isn’t brought up to Anderson’s level, she may opt to appear in fewer episodes to make up the disparity by guesting on another show. The tactic has split opinions within Time’s Up, with some worried that it’s more a retreat than a forward-looking solution (fitting in extra work isn’t always feasible, and often an actress wouldn’t earn as much guesting as she would as a network star).”

However, Ellis Ross took to Twitter yesterday to set the record straight and says the THR article doesn’t accurately reflect the situation nor her feelings about it. The 45-year-old Golden Globe winner says that THR misconstrued what was shared and having the world discuss her paycheck is just as awkward for her as it would be for any person, despite how many zeros may be on it:

“The words and thoughts that were in the original article that started this public conversation were not mine; there were never any threats. I wish I would have been called by the reporter to confirm that.”

“Having had my renegotiation become a public conversation was awkward, but I’m grateful for the outpouring of support. I’m truly thankful that important conversations are taking place about fighting for women’s worth and equality, and tightening the pay gap in every industry.”

Ellis Ross is avid supporter of the Time’s Up initiative which originally began in 2006, but has recently become active again due to the sexual misconduct allegations that have plagued Hollywood since several women spoke out against producer Harvey Weinstein. The movement fights against sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace and as result of the movement conversations have grown to include the pay gap that exists between men and women in the workplace. Entertainment Tonight recently interviewed Ellis-Ross on the Golden Globe red carpet for her thoughts on the movement:

“Time is up on a lot of things.”

“We all have to stand up together and with arms linked and not ranked. We can put an end to abuse and discrimination that makes the imbalance of power.”

Looks like the time is up on Ellis Ross’s words being manipulated and she is not here to play. We hope that she gets compensated fairly for the energy she brings to Blackish every week, because honestly the Johnson household wouldn’t be the same without her. She’s the MLK to Dre’s Malcolm X. It also brings to light that as much as we want to fight for fairness, equality and respect in the workplace, people are entitled to their privacy, no matter how famous they are.

You can read Ellis Ross’s full statement below:

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