So, every year Forbes does a handful of “Highest Paid” lists, usually based on earnings in whatever field they’re tallying. We tend to focus on the Hip-Hop Cash Kings, but something made us peak an interest at the actors and actresses lists for the 2018 television year. There were some things we loved, some things that made us go “Hmmm…” but, most importantly, a real issue that stood out like a sore thumb: only one Black actor — including both males and females — made it on the Top 10 list.
While we’re very proud of our sister Kerry Washington, who ranked in at number 8 (with $11 million) on Forbes’ Top 10 Highest-Paid TV Actresses 2018 list that went up last week for her bowing-out season of Scandal, the tally definitely has us feeling some type of way. Sure, the ranking is fair so it’s no shade to the brilliant minds at Forbes — according to the site, “All earnings estimates are from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018. Figures are pretax; fees for agents, managers and lawyers are not deducted. Earnings estimates are based on data from Nielsen, Box Office Mojo and IMDB, as well as interviews with industry insiders” — and it’s amazing to see Sofia Vergara not only on the list but topping it for her outstanding comedic performance on Modern Family. However, our beef is more so with these production companies for either (a.) not hiring enough Black & Brown actors/actresses and (b.) not paying the current Black & Brown actors/actresses enough to make it on prestigious lists like these. We all know that these rankings are what get actors further jobs, which brings them even closer to that coveted Oscar win and/or Emmy statue.
For the fellas it’s even worse: no Black male actors made the Top 10 Highest-Paid TV Actors 2018 list, with the only Brown face being British-Indian actor Kunal Nayyar for his hilariously deserving role on The Big Bang Theory.
So, here’s our question to you guys and gals: are we underpaid, underrepresented or just not working hard enough to be on primetime television? Let us know what you think over on Facebook and Twitter!