Taraji P. Henson addresses the challenges of being a black woman in Hollywood, and even losing a role to Naomi Watts, in her new memoir “Around the Way Girl”.
A chapter of Henson’s book is titled “On Being a Black Woman in Hollywood” and reveals the disadvantages she faced because of the colour of her skin: “Time and again, I’ve lost roles because someone with the ability to green-light a film couldn’t see black women beyond a very limited purview he or she thought ‘fit’ audience expectations.”
She describes how the role of a pregnant stripper in “St. Vincent” was written specifically with her in mind, but was ultimately handed to Watts: “It was a meaty gig. I would have loved it. Alas, I couldn’t get served at that particular restaurant.”
The 46-year-old also discusses how little she was compensated for her Oscar-nominated role in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, compared to co-stars Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett: “the equivalent of sofa change… the lowest of six figures.”
Henson’s new memoir is available online and in bookstores now.