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Actress and new mom Danielle Brooks says her biggest money mistake was not advocating for herself financially during her years on the Netflix hit Orange Is the New Black. 

In an interview with CNBC, she said she found out that despite the success of the show and the popularity of her character, Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson, the children of fellow Netflix hit Stranger Things were raking in more money than her.

“When you come to find out the Stranger Things kids are making more than you are in your final season, that’s heartbreaking,” she said. “A part of me feels like it’s a little bit of my fault because I should have fought more, I should have put my foot down.”

It’s unclear how much Brooks was making near the end of the series, but CNBC pointed out that the lead child actors of Stranger Things were taking home $200,000 an episode during their third season. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter near OITNB’s end in 2019, Brooks revealed that during the first season she made $5,000 an episode, which at the time, was a big deal for her.

“I had done 10 episodes and made the most money I had ever made,” she said at the time. “We got a bump in the middle of shooting season one. I first started making minimum, which is a little less than $1,000 an episode, and I was making $5,000 an episode that first season. At the time, that was everything to me.”

But as she told CNBC, she realized the importance of going after her worth from the experience when she learned after seven seasons and some damn good performances, kids were making more than her in just three seasons.

“As a woman, I wish I would have stood by what numbers I wanted from jobs, and not fluctuated.”

Orange Is the New Black aired from 2013 to 2019. Stranger Things has been on Netflix since 2016.

Brooks is not the first woman to feel like, or publicly declare, that she wasn’t being paid her just dues or fairly. Hit the flip to see a few other women who talked about pay gaps they’ve had to deal with or fight against.

Actress Taraji P. Henson arrives at the FOX Winter TCA 2020 All-Star Party held at The Langham Huntington Hotel on January 7, 2020 in Pasadena, Los Angeles, California, United States.

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Taraji P. Henson

While Taraji earned an Oscar nomination for her work in the hit film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, she struggled to get paid what she felt she deserved in her role as Queenie. Despite asking for $500,000 for the part, she was only given $150,000. “I’m number three on the call sheet,” she said about that experience. “Does that make sense to you?”

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