Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross is getting paid a significantly lower salary than her co-star Anthony Anderson and she’s had enough of it.
According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, the 45-year-old actress threated to cut back her appearances on the ABC sitcom if the salaries aren’t evened out. Anderson serves as executive producer on the show, which could account for some of the differences, a source told outlet.
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. The tactic has split opinions within Time’s Up, with some worried that it’s more a retreat than a forward-looking solution (fitting in extra work isn’t always feasible, and often an actress wouldn’t earn as much guesting as she would as a network star). 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. Still, until a few weeks ago, this type of candid conversation would never have taken place outside an actress’ agency.
Ross won a Golden Globe for best actress in a comedy or musical TV series in 2017, becoming the first black woman to do so in 35 years.