by TRN Staff Writers
The magazine that keeps tabs on everybody’s money has come up with its annual list of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood. Funny thing about that list…it looks a lot like the previous year’s list, which looked a lot like the list the year before that, which look…well you get the gist.
According to Forbes Emma Stone comes in at #1 on list with a whopping $26 million in earnings this past year thanks primarily to her role in the musical film “La La Land”. Other top paid actresses include Jennifer Lawrence (“Hunger Games”) at $24 million and the woman who lampooned former White House spokesperson Sean ‘Spicey’ Spicer to fame and perhaps infamy, Melissa McCarthy (“Ghostbusters”) at $18 mill. Jennifer Anniston was the shocker as number two on the list at $25.5–guess those “Friends” syndication checks add up because has she ever been a box office draw?
You notice right away that women of color didn’t make the $11.5 million dollar cut to be added to the list. For all Hollywood’s talk of diversity, the Forbes list shows that it’s not just about landing the job, but landing the big pay checks that come with those roles …or landing roles in multiple movies in one year. McCarthy had starring rollings in three films in 2016–“The Boss”, “Central Intelligence” and “Ghostbusters”. Each movie brought in respectable amounts at the box office but three films in one year is enough to boost any actors bank account. Three movies in one year was also the magic formula for actress Amy Adams who starred as Lois Lane in “Batman v Superman” and had leads in “Arrival” and “Nocturnal Animals”.
Viola Davis,who is truly an amazing talent starred in two pretty major films last year (“Fences” with Denzel Washington and “Suicide Squad”) but she didn’t even earn enough to warrant a mention on the Forbes list. Davis also stars in the ABC drama “How to Get Away Murder”, but her earnings still didn’t put her on the same level as actresses with fewer projects. How many of the actresses who did earn top money in Hollywood last year have earned three Oscars like Davis has?
If you’re thinking, most of last year’s top female earners probably starred in blockbuster films, think again. For instance, Stone’s movie “La La Land” came in at #83 on the Numbers.com list of movies ranked by earnings. It didn’t even beat out the mainly Black cast movie “Moonlight” for the Best Picture Oscar. That little golden statue may say something about your acting ability, but green says it better.
When it comes to men, the Forbes list plays out a lot differently. Last year, the highest paid actor was a Black man–Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson came in at $64 million dollars. Will Smith reportedly earned around $20 million. While that shows a huge disparity between male/female earnings, at least White women are earning what some men are making. Chris Rock was right when he said, “Black women have the hardest gig in show business. You hear Jennifer Lawrence complaining about getting paid less because she’s a woman — if she was Black, she’d really have something to complain about.”