Tracee Ellis Ross had to take to Twitter to set the record straight about her pay negotiations, but also confirmed her support for equal pay in Hollywood.
An article published by The Hollywood Reporter (THR) on Thursday stated thatRoss, who currently stars asRainbow “Bow” Johnson on the hit ABC comedy “Black-ish,”threatened to appear in fewer episodes of the show if she wasn’t paid the same as her male co-star, Anthony Anderson.
According to the article, a source said that Anderson, 47, is getting paid significantly more than Ross:
“With negotiations for the fifth season ongoing, sources say Ellis Ross feels that if she isn’t brought up to Anderson’s level, she may opt to appear in fewer episodes to make up the disparity by guesting on another show.
“A network source says a new deal will significantly increase her compensation and cautioned that Anderson and Ellis Ross’ roles aren’t equal given that he has been attached to Black-ish from the start and is an executive producer.”
As the story of Ross threatening to appear in fewer episodes of the comedy began to spread, she responded Saturday with a statement posted on Twitter.
“The words and thoughts that were in the original article that started this public conversation were not mine; there were never any threats,” she wrote.
Ross said the reporter should have called her to confirm the information. However, the actress did say that she hadbeenin renegotiations for her salary after the fourth season.
“I wanted to be compensated in a way that matches my contributions to a show that I love for many reasons, including the opportunity it allows me to reshape what it is to be a fully recognized Black woman on TV,”she wrote.
Ross, 45, whowon a GoldenGlobe for her work on “Black-ish,” saidalthough it was awkward to have her pay negotiations become public, she’s “thankful that important conversations are taking place about fighting for women’s worth and equality and tightening the pay gap in every industry.”
THR reported that the information about Ross was said at a Time’s Up meeting.The initiative, created by several hundred actresses and entertainment executives to fight sexual misconduct across the U.S., launched on Jan. 1.
“Time’s Up is a unified call for change from women in entertainment, for women everywhere,” according to itswebsite. “From movie sets to farm fields to boardrooms alike, we envision nationwide leadership that reflects the world in which we live.”
The Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund is powered by a GoFundMe campaign that has almost reached$19million. The fund provides subsidized legal support to women and men who have experienced sexual harassment, assault or abuse in the workplace and while in pursuit of their careers.
At the Golden Globes on Jan. 7, celebrities, including Ross, wore black attire and Time’s Up pins in support of the initiative.
“I wear black today as a ‘we’ not as an ‘I,’ as a celebration of our collective power as women, as an embodiment of sisterhood, solidarity and the work being done to create structural change,”Ross said. “We wear black for equity, parity and inclusion across all industries.”
A graduate of Brown University, Ross is the daughter of Motown legend Diana Ross and music manager Robert Ellis Silberstein. She has been candid about refusing to define her lifeby patriarchal standards.
In a powerful speech, Ross talks about being a 45-year-old, unmarried woman without children who refuses to define her life by patriarchal standards.
“It’s really interesting to be a woman and to get to 45 and not be married and not have kids,” she said. “Especially when you have just pushed out your fifth kid on TV.”
Ross said that she has built and incredible life, which includes “helping women find our voices.”
“I have become a woman that I’m very proud to be,” she said.
Ross chooses not to conform to set standards.
“I’m going to have to break an agreement that I didn’t really officially agree to sign in the first place, a document drawn up by a bunch of old white guys in a back room, the same group of old white guys who like to pass laws about our reproductive health and choices without us being there,” she said.
“That agreement says: We are here to be of service to others, that our destiny is to live in the shadow of men, that we are simply objects of desire, and that we are willing to live with having our voices stifled again and again by the misogyny of our culture.”