Taraji P. Henson Clarifies Emotional Interview, Expresses Gratitude to Oprah Amid Hollywood Pay Disparities

Actress Addresses Social Media Response and Highlights Support from Oprah Winfrey
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After a tearful interview discussing pay disparities for Black women in Hollywood, Taraji P. Henson took to Instagram to clarify her thoughts and express gratitude to Oprah Winfrey. The Oscar-nominated actress, in an emotional interview with Gayle King, had shared her frustration about working hard yet receiving a fraction of the pay.

In her Instagram post, Henson thanked everyone for the compassionate responses and emphasized the importance of support among black women and women of color. She underscored the necessity of having women of color in decision-making positions across all industries.


Oprah Winfrey and The Color Purple stars at the @Empire State Building ???????? #oprahwinfrey #esb #empirestatebuilding #oprah #winfrey #thecolorpurple #purple #nyc #newyork

♬ original sound – New York Mickey

Acknowledging Oprah Winfrey’s role in her life, Henson described her as a “steady and solid beacon of light” to the entire cast of ‘The Color Purple.’ She praised Oprah for providing encouragement, guidance, and unwavering support to the cast, expressing gratitude for Oprah’s personal support when needed.

The actress reflected on the significance of a single call, conversation, and decision-making black woman, making her feel heard. While the details of the conversation weren’t disclosed, it hinted at the challenges faced during casting decisions for ‘The Color Purple.’

(Left to right:) Oprah Winfrey, Fantasia Barrino, Danielle Brooks, Taraji P. Henson and Blitz Bazawule at the 2023 ESSENCE Festival.

Celebrities, including Keke Palmer, reshared Henson’s candid interview and voiced their support. Gabrielle Union and Viola Davis were among those who praised Henson’s honesty and resilience in the face of Hollywood challenges.

Henson’s emotional breakdown during the SiriusXM interview resonated with many in the industry who have faced similar struggles. The actress has been vocal about her frustrations with pay disparities and the challenges Black women encounter in Hollywood.

Henson plays Shug Avery in the new Color Purple movie, which is adapted from the hit 1985 film and 2005 Broadway musical and costars Fantasia Barrino, Colman Domingo, Louis Gossett Jr., David Alan Grier, Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Deon Cole, Corey Hawkins, H.E.R. and more.

The Color Purple is in theaters Christmas Day.

December 22, 2023

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