Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
 Toni Morrison Breaks Down Race as a Social Construct to Stephen Colbert Toni Morrison Breaks Down Race as a Social Construct to Stephen Colbert Wow! BBC Announces That Idris Elba Will Return for a 2-Part 'Luther' Event Series in 2015 Wow! BBC Announces That Idris Elba Will Return for a 2-Part 'Luther' Event Series in 2015 Lupita Nyong'o Will Star in Mira Nair's 'Queen of Katwe' Film Adaptation (On Ugandan Chess Prodigy Phiona Mutesi) Lupita Nyong'o Will Star in Mira Nair's 'Queen of Katwe' Film Adaptation (On Ugandan Chess Prodigy Phiona Mutesi) Whoa! Steve McQueen & Harry Belafonte Are Teaming Up on a Paul Robeson Film. Will Be His Next Feature Whoa! Steve McQueen & Harry Belafonte Are Teaming Up on a Paul Robeson Film. Will Be His Next Feature Fox Is Developing an American Remake of 'Luther' (But Not with Idris Elba Starring) Fox Is Developing an American Remake of 'Luther' (But Not with Idris Elba Starring) Chris Rock on That Stubborn Burden of Representation Thing ("Black Fame" vs "White Fame") Chris Rock on That Stubborn Burden of Representation Thing ("Black Fame" vs "White Fame") White Women in LA Will Be Empowered by Black Women in New Series 'Bye Felicia!' (Watch Clip) White Women in LA Will Be Empowered by Black Women in New Series 'Bye Felicia!' (Watch Clip) Did Anyone Actually Like Lifetime's Aaliyah Movie? Also, Producer Wendy Williams Takes on Backlash Did Anyone Actually Like Lifetime's Aaliyah Movie? Also, Producer Wendy Williams Takes on Backlash Review: Refreshingly Diverse 'Big Hero 6' Will Make Kids and Science Lovers of all Ages Giddy Review: Refreshingly Diverse 'Big Hero 6' Will Make Kids and Science Lovers of all Ages Giddy Weekend B.O. Nov.14-16 (Why Didn’t 'Beyond the Lights' Light Up at the Box Office?) Weekend B.O. Nov.14-16 (Why Didn’t 'Beyond the Lights' Light Up at the Box Office?) Your Thoughts on 'Beyond the Lights' Now That It's in Theaters? Your Thoughts on 'Beyond the Lights' Now That It's in Theaters? Gina Prince-Bythewood Wants to Eliminate the Term "Black Film" Gina Prince-Bythewood Wants to Eliminate the Term "Black Film" Review: Five Things Missing from 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' Review: Five Things Missing from 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' White People Don't Get It Because They Never Had to White People Don't Get It Because They Never Had to Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Actors Cast to Play Missy Elliot, Timbaland, Damon Dash in Aaliyah Biopic Actors Cast to Play Missy Elliot, Timbaland, Damon Dash in Aaliyah Biopic Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Outcry Over 2012 Highest Paid Actresses List's Lack Of Diversity. Really?

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 21, 2012 at 11:36AM

Based on emails I've received, and articles I've read this week, some of you are apparently taken aback by the fact that the latest Forbes list of the 10 highest paid actresses, released earlier this week, is absent of any black actresses.
48
Hollywood Sign

Based on emails I've received, and articles I've read this week, some of you are apparently taken aback by the fact that the latest Forbes list of the 10 highest paid actresses, released earlier this week, is absent of any black actresses.

And in response to that, I'm shocked that you're shocked!

Seriously, where the heck have you been? Have you visited a movie theater lately to watch a film? How about in the last 12 months? 24 months? 60 months even? And how often have you found yourself sitting in a movie theater, looking up at the film playing in front of you, and seen the faces of black actresses in leading roles that would command the kind of high salaries the women who did make the Forbes list are receiving?

How many black women STARS are there? Not just black women actors, but STARS? The ones whose names are near-guaranteed box office triumphs.

To complain about the absence of black actresses on this list is silly, and is to ignore decades of discussion on the lack of diversity within the Hollywood machine, and the numerous attempts that many have made (whether by individuals or collectively) to help affect the kind of change that would allow more black actors and actresses the kinds of opportunities and privilege that their Caucasian contemporaries have enjoyed since the medium was invented.

Surely, I hope it didn't take this 2012 list to make you realize that we have a, you know, problem here (one that's much older and deeper than this list), and that this is still very much an industry that's dominated by the images of white men and women.

If anything, I'd instead be taken aback by the fact that Kristen Stewart is at the top of the list this year, thanks to those horrible Twilight movies. Now THAT's something that should raise your eyebrows; not this.

Let's first worry about getting our treasured actresses more work; preferably starring roles in high profile projects; or really just more work, starring role or not; high profile project or not.


Shadow & ActNewsletter