Black Business

How Gabrielle Union Once Pushed for Equity on Film Set for Fellow Actress

It’s no secret that much of Hollywood often can prove to be a cutthroat world. Actress Gabrielle Union can attest to that, and has been vocal about one experience where she and others met the ways of the industry head-on.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 02: Gabrielle Union attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 02, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

In 2019, Union participated in a panel hosted by Porter magazine, alongside fellow actors Gina Rodriguez, Ellen Pompeo and Emma Roberts. During the discussion, she emphasized the importance of having a united front against studio producers who attempted to underpay another actor.

The former child star, who has been working on television or film most of her life, said that three other actors joined her in a quest to make sure the first actor was compensated fairly to star in a project.

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“There was a job that I thought, you know, a friend had and there was a lowball attempt,” Union shares in the recently revisited clip.

Fighting For Everyone

The producers did not want to pay the “Bring It On” actor’s friend the price she was asking for and decided to call her to do the job.

“That’s my girl,” Union continued. “So I was like, ‘What you turn down?’ I asked for moon, stars, rainbow, over top of that. I have no intention of doing it. I want her to get her money. Like it’s not my job.”

Union said she was clear about the mission and knew that she lost nothing by turning down the project when the producers were trying to play her against her friend.

“It was never my job to begin with but I’m going to make sure she gets paid,” she resolved. It did not stop with Union. The producers would ask other actors to take the role, and committed to the mission, Union and her friend gave the others their marching orders.


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