Pay Black women what we’re worth. As far as sentence structure, it’s a simple declaration, but when it comes to execution—this misogynoir-filled system would rather make it extremely difficult. Sounds like the life (and work) of a Black woman.
We’ve certainly been discussing the topic of pay equity, from The Glow Up to The Grapevine and beyond—and we will keep discussing and calling out the issue, as long as it is an issue.
In a recent interview on Variety’s After-Show, Garcelle Beauvais talked about Season 10 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and how she’s bringing her candid personality to the show. Racking up credits such as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Family Matters, The Jamie Foxx Show, NYPD Blue, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development and much more, the actress and model has been working in this industry for over 20 years. But, does her pay reflect that? Well...what do you think?
“It’s all about being treated equally. I want to be promoted the same way,” Beauvais revealed. “I want to be compensated the same way...I’ve been in Hollywood over 20-something years, which is a feat in itself, to continue working—and I’m so grateful. But I do feel that so many times, my white counterparts get paid 1000% more than I do. I know it for sure, and that really sucks. We’re not valued as we should be. I just feel like it’s been happening for a long time, and now, I’m not putting up with it. You don’t see my value, you don’t get to have me in your project. Simple as that.”
Simple as that, indeed. In fact, pay equity and value has been a topic of the week, with Michaela Coel revealing that she turned down $1 million from Netflix for her new hit show I May Destroy You (which is now on HBO) because the network wouldn’t allow her to retain any percentage of the copyright for the deal. Knowing her damn worth (and the worth of her intellectual property), Coel walked away.
When directly asked about whether Beauvais makes the same amount as fellow first-time Housewife Sutton Stracke, she replied with a smile, “That’s awesome. I don’t know. But Sutton doesn’t need the money; that’s the thing!”
In addition to having to deal with lower pay as a Black woman, Beauvais also opened up about having to live as a Black mom in the midst of the police brutality that could potentially affect her and her three sons. The 53-year-old actress recounted a time she was pulled over by police for making an illegal turn, and her son Jax, 12, was in the car with her at the time.
“I’m so grateful that he was in the backseat because he got to see my interaction. He got to see that my hands were at the wheel. He actually heard me say, ‘I’m reaching for my wallet,’” she recalled.
For Beauvais, it was a raw example of why she has had to have thorough discussions with each of her sons about how to interact with police (commonly known as “The Talk” within the Black community).
“The fact that I have to say, ‘I’m reaching for my wallet now’—if I was with [a white girlfriend] and she was driving, she wouldn’t think to do that,” she added.
Other than her new reality TV show gig, Beauvais was cast in Coming 2 America, which still has a current release date of December 18, 2020, pending any potential delays due to the unpredictable global pandemic.