Tracee Ellis Ross is speaking out about her contract renegotiation for Black-ish and the fight for equal pay in Hollywood.
In a Jan. 18 story in The Hollywood Reporter about how actresses are combating the gender pay gap, the publication cites several sources who attended a Time’s Up meeting in which Ross’ salary talks were discussed. Ross is reportedly compensated “significantly less” than Black-ish costar Anthony Anderson for her work on the show, and if this pay disparity wasn’t rectified, those sources said that she may appear in fewer episodes while guest-starring on a different show to make up the difference. (An ABC source told The Hollywood Reporter that while the new deal will “significantly increase” her salary, the two actors’ roles aren’t “equal” as Anderson also serves as an executive producer and was part of the project during the early stages of development.)
In a statement released on Twitter on Saturday night, the actress confirmed the contract renegotiations, noting that she wanted to be “compensated in a way that matches my contribution to a show that I love for many reasons, including the opportunity it allows me to reshape what it is to be a fully realized black woman on TV.” That said, she denied making any “threats” about reducing her appearances on the show. “The words and thoughts that were in the original article that started this public conversation were not mine,” she said. “I wish I would have been called by the reporter to confirm that.”
While the fact that her contract talks have become public is “awkward,” she said she is “grateful for the outpouring of support,” adding, “I’m truly thankful that important conversations are taking place about fighting for women’s worth and equality, and tightening the pay gap in the industry.”
Here’s her statement in full:
ABC declined to comment on the matter. Black-ish airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT..