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Taraji P. Henson Reveals Tyler Perry Was The First To Pay Her $500K For A Role
Jamie Lamor Thompson / Shutterstock.com

Taraji P. Henson Reveals Tyler Perry Was The First To Pay Her $500K For A Role

After it was revealed she was only paid $40K for Benjamin Button, old footage of her telling her truth resurfaced.

Celebrity News

Listen to black women! Because we're damn sure speaking.

Taraji P. Henson, may be the poster child of it all. For years, she has been telling us how Hollywood gets down when it comes to paying black women, and just now, people are listening. The actress has earned a piles of accolades, including Golden Globes (which has zero Black people on its 87-member board) and a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame, but before her role as Cookie Lyon on FOX's Empire, she was fighting for her worth.

Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com

Taraji recently revealed that for her character Queenie in the hit film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, where she earned an Oscar nomination, she actually only pocketed (after taxes and paying her team) $40,000.

The film made $355 million.

Chiiiiiiiile.

Of the pay, she has stated:

"I want to make this very clear – I'm not saying that Brad or Cate shouldn't have gotten what they got. They put asses in seats, so give them their money. They deserve it. I'm not saying they shouldn't get what they're getting. I was just asking for half a million – that's all. That's it. When I was doing Benjamin Button, I wasn't worth a million yet. My audience was still getting to know me. We thought we were asking for what was fair for me at the time."

Jamie Lamor Thompson / Shutterstock.com

Henson later confided in Tyler Perry about her dissatisfaction with the pay she received from Benjamin Button, and he casted her for 2009's I Can Do Bad All by Myself and 2018's Acrimony. Additionally, he, without question, paid her her asking price of $500,000--thus allowing her to formally raise her billing rate for all future roles.

In an interview with Variety, she told Ellen Pompeo:

"First Tyler Perry film, he was the first person that broke the standard of what I was getting paid for films. He gave me $500,000. Right after that, I did 'Karate Kid', because I had a quote now, up until then, I didn't have a quote. When 'Benjamin Button' didn't want to pay me--I was just asking $500,000--when they didn't want to give me that, I could't say, 'I'm not doing this movie!'"

Pompeo agrees and she continues:

"And I wasn't thinking about critical acclaim. Because in my mind, it was Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett that were the shoe-ins, I was just happy to be in their company. I had to swallow my pride, and I had to just give the best performance that I could, because that's what I always try to do, and then walk away. And when they started saying the Oscar buzz..."

And listen, Taraji isn't the only person that Perry has done this for. He has notoriously looked tf out for many of Black Hollywood. In Cicely Tyson's memoir before her passing, she wrote:

"When [Perry] heard how little I was paid for 'Sounder' and 'The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman', his mouth fell open. From then on, he decided to double, and sometimes even triple or quadruple, my asking price for any role he requested that I play."

This was Perry's way of making sure the legendary actress was paid her worth, after decades and decades of opening doors for Black women in Hollywood and being underpaid while doing it. Their friendship grew, and the actress eventually even became the godmother to Tyler Perry's son, Aman.

--

So, next time we're thinking about slandering his work or how he maneuvers in Hollywood, maybe consider, on the backend, that that Black man is catapulting us (in an industry where we are viewed as nothing) in ways that go beyond what we can see.

And in the now famous words of Taraji P. Henson, "A Black man did that."

Watch the video where Taraji discusses Perry below:

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Featured image by Jamie Lamor Thompson / Shutterstock.com

Five Things To Know Before Becoming A Dog Mom

This post is in partnership with Blue Buffalo.

So you’re thinking about becoming a dog mom? We love that for you! Having a happy, furry friend to greet you at the door each day, cuddle up on the couch with, and keep you in touch with the great outdoors is one of life’s greatest joys. And that’s before we get into all the cute puppy outfits there are to buy! But there are some key and non-negotiable things to know and consider before saying yes to bringing home a fur baby.

If having a pet is new to you, then naturally you might have tons of questions not only about how this new responsibility will transform your lifestyle, but also about how best to nurture your four-legged friend. Few things compare to the joy and companionship that a dog’s loyalty and love bring, but learning how to nurture and train them is a learning curve that requires equal parts preparation and patience. Once you find your rhythm, you and your furry new boo will form a bond that will add the brightest spark to your life.

If you ask any member of the canine crew you know, they’ll tell you they don't play about their babies! They’ll also probably give you a laundry list of things they wish they knew before bringing their new dog home for the first time. If you’re thinking about opening your doors to a new pup, there are a few things to prepare and assess. With the help of Blue Buffalo, a natural pet food brand trusted by millions of pet parents, we’ve rounded up five key things to know before joining the dog mom club.

1. Staying Active Is Key: Let’s keep it real — we all have days where we want nothing more than a 24-hour Netflix binge fest from the comfort of our couch. That’s especially true on a day where the weather is trash. We feel you on that. However, dog moms should make it a point to keep their pups active each day. Influencer Dynasti Hunt considers her Goldendoodle Aiden part of the family, and she loves to find creative ways to keep him moving rain or shine. “Aiden and I have realized the importance of staying active at home, even when the weather is bad outside,” says Dynasti, who loves spontaneous yoga and dance sessions with her adorable doggie.

2. Keep An Eye On Their Diets: Just like humans, our pals have to maintain a healthy, balanced diet in order to live long and quality lives. You might find it easy to tell what’s healthy to eat for yourself, but it can be a bit trickier to know the difference when it comes to pet food. Just because you see a product label with the words vegetarian, grain-free, or certified organic doesn’t automatically mean it’s the healthiest for your buddy at this particular stage in their life. Finding a trusted pet food brand like Blue Buffalo is key. They offer recipes for specific breed sizes, life stages, needs and preferences — this definitely comes in handy for picky eaters or dietary restrictions. For example, Aiden Da Doodle is allergic to chicken-based products, and thankfully BLUE allows Dynasti to choose from a variety of products that are formulated without chicken.

3: Use Treats Creatively: Are doggie treats the golden ticket to getting your pooch to act right? Yes, but they’re also good for so much more. Treats are great tools for positive reinforcement, whether you’re trying to potty train a young puppy or get them to learn tricks. Influencer Sauve Xavier, an Instagram comedian, who has gained over a million Instagram followers for his hilarious videos with his Dobermans Knox and Bear, says he plans clever scavenger hunts around his house as an incentive to keep his dogs active and challenged. Using BLUE Treats made with healthy ingredients, he’s able to dish out rewards without feeling guilty. Take it from the guy who can actually get his dog to help with chores.

4. Know That Planning Ahead Is Everything: If you are a first-time dog mom or thinking about becoming one, keeping your buddy on a schedule is going to be key. For example, potty-training puppies need to be walked every few hours so that you can keep the habit of going outside in and the possibility of them peeing on your precious rugs out. Most pets also need to be fed twice a day (morning and night.) What does this spell? Sacrifice. You’ll need to be present and arrive home in time to keep your dog’s routine going. So know that you won’t be able to indulge in spontaneous plans the way you might have before. This is most certainly a lifestyle change if you’re used to coming and going as you please, but the reward of raising a well-behaved pup is well worth it. You might also want to think about how you can recruit your partner, roommate, friends, or family to share in the responsibilities for those days when life happens and you’re ever in need of a little dog sitting help. You can also search the web for hired help if you’re in a pinch. Remember — it takes a village to raise a child (even a barking one)! Pro tip: Download the Buddies by Blue Buffalo app to get advice and tricks and plan for your pet parenthood adventures ahead.

5. Research Dog-Friendly Activities in Your Area: As you move about through life, you’ll find yourself looking for more and more dog-friendly places to go and things to do beyond just the local dog parks. Round up a list of bars, breweries, brunch spots, and shopping centers that welcome pups into their establishments. This will allow you to make the most of your days while being able to bring your pup along for the ride. It’ll also create opportunities for you to meet up with other dog moms and dads and arrange future play dates (or real dates with a fellow dog parent? Who knows)!

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