Queen Latifah & Taraji P. Henson Team Up At NAACP Image Awards To Call Out Pay Inequality For Black Actresses In Hollywood

Queen Latifah got a message from Vice President Kamala Harris at the start of the 2024 NAACP Image Awards, reminding the show’s host to ask people to vote this year.

As part of her opening comments, the rapper talked about the struggles that Americans are facing, like inflation, which prompted Taraji P. Henson to say that Black actresses continue to be underpaid in Hollywood.

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“It’s no secret we are facing some seriously pivotal issues,” Queen Latifah said during her monologue. “Everyone is talking about inflation. You know what’s not feeling inflation?”

The cameras then cut to Henson, who was sitting with the audience, and said, “Equal pay for Black actresses.”

After a grand applause from the audience, Queen Latifah said, “Thank you, Taraji, for standing up for all of us.”

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The show’s host then asked all Black actresses to stand up to receive the recognition and represent everyone. As the stars were about to take a seat, Queen Latifah asked them not to sit just yet and asked “Everybody else in this hall room stand up for all of us Black actresses who have been representing for us. Support us. Join us. Because it’s you who stand next to us every day. We know this and we want to say thank you.”

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Henson would take the stage soon after to receive the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for The Color Purple. During her acceptance speech, she took the opportunity to thank those who stood by her during the press tour for the movie when she initially called out the pay inequality that exists in Hollywood.

“I just want to thank you guys so much for showing up for me all the time, not just to the box office or watching what I’m in but y’all saw what happened and y’all showed up, you showed out, you showed me love,” Henson said during her speech. “It’s a scary thing to speak your truth but I urge you all to speak your truth because at the end of the day that’s all we have.”

She continued, “And like they say, the truth will set you free. And not only that, it will set somebody else free.”

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