TV's Highest-Paid Actresses This Year Are Not Only Business Savvy, But Feminist Too

Sofia Vergara is slaying the game in Modern Family portraying Gloria, but, it turns out she's also slaying the business game as well: Forbes just released their list of highest-paid TV actresses, and yet again, Vergara topped the list with a total of $37 million earned this past year. Not only from Modern Family, of course, though that contributed — according to the site, it was also Vergara's endorsement deals and seemingly natural business savvy that got her the top spot, as, in addition to playing Gloria, she's also the face of Diet Pepsi, CoverGirl, Head & Shoulders, AT&T, and the thyroid medication Synthroid.

Though Vergara did indeed earn more than other TV actresses in Hollywood this year, I don't really like looking at things as a competition when it comes to women in the industry (God knows tabloids and everything else in entertainment does that enough) — all the women on this list worked hard, are badass at what they do, and they're totally feminist to boot. They all deserve the recognition they're getting, and for that, I think it's worth giving them a little more on a list that doesn't have little number bullets in front of all their names. Vergara, despite recently being justly criticized for that whole Emmy fail last month which saw her standing on a rotating platform to be objectified for her curves while Television Acadamy chairman — a man — Bruce Rosenblum spoke (not to mention her explanation of the stunt afterwards that seemed to brush it under the rug instead of calling it out for being sexist, as it was), has worked hard during her years in Hollywood, and said some pretty empowering things about women in the industry as well.

That said, this list seems a much more fitting option: TV's 2014 highest-paid actresses, and their best feminist quotes to live by. Let's begin.

Sofia Vergara

“I’m not ashamed to say I love making money. I like business, and the truth is I save way more than I spend. I invest. I plan for the future. I have a special eye for opportunities and work harder than anyone might expect. I think that the concept of being sexy and smart is difficult for many to grasp… most people are more comfortable with the notion of ‘sexy bimbo.’ And I have to admit that I’ve capitalized on that to negotiate a couple of times. When the ‘smart ones’ think I have no idea what I can deliver, I end up costing them more.”

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Mariska Hargitay

“Your body is not who you are. I don’t think women should label themselves based on the way they look. What about defining yourself by a different kind of measurement? What about your heart, your soul, your compassion, your generosity, your strength and your power? There are so many other things to focus on besides your waistline.”

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Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting

“Unless you’re Gisele, you wake up some days and feel ugly. When that happens, I accept that I’m not perfect and it’s OK; I can start over again tomorrow.”

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Ellen Pompeo

“There’s a remarkable amount of sexism on TV. When male characters are flawed, they’re interesting, deep and complex. But when female characters are flawed, they’re just a mess. It’s good to put more flawed but interesting female characters out there because it promotes equality.”

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Amy Poehler

“I love bossy women. I could be around them all day. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn’t mind leading.”

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Mindy Kaling

“I always get asked, ‘Where do you get your confidence?’ I think people are well meaning, but it’s pretty insulting. Because what it means to me is, ‘You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person. You’re not skinny, you’re not white, you’re a woman. Why on earth would you feel like you’re worth anything?”

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Kerry Washington

“Today there are people trying to take away rights that our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers fought for: our right to vote, our right to choose, affordable quality education, equal pay, access to health care. We the people can’t let that happen.”

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Zooey Deschanel

“I’m just being myself. There is not an ounce of me that believes any of that crap that they say. We can’t be feminine and be feminists and be successful? I want to be a f*cking feminist and wear a f*cking Peter Pan collar. So f*cking what?”

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Courteney Cox

“I don’t find the whole cougar word offensive.… A cougar is someone who takes care of herself and goes out with younger guys. She doesn’t need a man to take care of her.”

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Claire Danes

“I am a feminist. And I’m so glad that [Girls creator and star] Lena Dunham exists, because she is one too, and she’s quite vocal about it. Yes, women have more freedom and more influence than ever, but it’s hardly equal. It’s just not. It’s really f*cking crazy. I’m sorry I’m cursing. But it’s wild that women are underrepresented [in Hollywood]. I have real anxiety about directing, and that’s something to question and challenge and correct.”

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Lena Dunham

“Women saying ‘I’m not a feminist’ is my greatest pet peeve. Do you believe that women should be paid the same for doing the same jobs? Do you believe that women should be allowed to leave the house? Do you think that women and men both deserve equal rights? Great, then you’re a feminist. People think there is something taboo about speaking up for feminism. I know for a long time that I was embarrassed to call out misogyny because I was then going to be that complaining girl who can’t let it go. But the fact is, we can’t let it go — not until we feel like we have been heard.”

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