Over the past few weeks, there's been a ton of talk about the gender pay gap in Hollywood, and black-ish's Tracee Ellis Ross happens to be one of the latest actresses hoping to combat the issue. On Saturday, Jan. 20, Ross cleared up rumors about the black-ish pay disparity report via social media. The rumor started on Jan. 18, when The Hollywood Reporter reported that the actor was negotiating a new salary because of being paid "significantly less" than her black-ish costar Anthony Anderson. According to the article from The Hollywood Reporter, sources have claimed that the 45-year-old award-winning actor was considering appearing in fewer episodes of the show if she did not receive a more fair salary.
Ross released a statement on Twitter on Saturday night confirming the salary renegotiation, while also addressing the rumor. Her full statement reads:
"There has been a lot of conversation and speculation the last few days regarding my blackish salary. I was in a renegotiation, like many actors find themselves in during the fourth season of a successful show. I 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.
The words and thoughts that were in the original article that started this public conversation were not mine; there were never any threats. I wish I would have been called by the reporter to confirm that. Having had my renegotiation become a public conversation was awkward, but I’m grateful for the outpouring of support. 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."
Bustle reached out to ABC for comment on Ross's statement, and a network spokesperson did not have an additional comment on the matter.
In the statement, Ross pointed out that her decision to renegotiate her salary had less to do with the fact that she's paid less than Anderson and more to do with how much she's contributed to the show throughout its last four seasons. Aside from being a lead cast member on the show, Anderson also serves as one of the show's executive producers. Ross won the 2017 Golden Globe and NAACP Image Awards for Best Actress in A Comedy Series.
Of course, Tracee Ellis Ross isn't the only actor making headlines lately for being paid less than her male co-star. Social media was outraged after learning that Michelle Williams was paid less than one percent of what Mark Wahlberg received for her work in the new film, All the Money in the World. The film was re-shot after the original star, Kevin Spacey, was removed from the film due to allegations of sexual misconduct. (Spacey has noted that he doesn't remember the allegations against him, but apologized if he caused harm.) Wahlberg was reportedly paid $1.5 million to reshoot all of the film's scenes while Williams was only paid $80 per day.
Likewise, former E! News host Catt Sadler made headlines last month when she left the network after learning that she was earning less than her cohost, Jason Kennedy. Both hosts began working for the network around the same time, and Sadler's departure prompted many actresses who attended the Golden Globes — including Will & Grace's Debra Messing, who was hailed a hero for publicly calling E! out while giving an interview on the network's red carpet show — to speak out about the pay difference in her honor.
It's a relief to know that Ross is planning on sticking around when it comes to her role on black-ish, but it's even better to see that she's continuing to fight for equal pay.