(Erik Voake/CBS via Getty Images)

Nia Long is an accomplished American actress whose work in television and films like In Too Deep and Love Jones has spanned three decades.

And while she's been a successful working actress with an impressive resume, Long, 47, said she still faces the challenges that other black women experience in the work place.

She's not one to be reticent, however, when it comes to standing up for herself.

"I've watched a lot of men get rich off of the films that I've done, and I was being paid peanuts," Long recently told the Hollywood Foreign Press Association at an event in August.

Unfortunately, speaking out about improved wages and the poor treatment of women on set took a toll on her Hollywood reputation.

"When I requested or wanted more, I was considered difficult, outspoken, entitled, and all of the things that should not be used to describe a woman who has earned her space, her place and delivers."
"And that just doesn't apply to me, that's for everyone."

The Root provided eye-opening statistics on unfair wages, particularly for black women, and the lack of awareness surrounding the gender pay disparity.

Black women make 38% less than white males and 21% less then white women.

To put things into perspective, August 7 was considered Black Women's Equal Pay Day. But it's nothing to celebrate.

Black women had to work all of 2017 until August 7 of this year to catch up with the salaries earned by white males in 2017, according to Lean In.

Long isn't the only actress who is vocal about the wage inequality.

At this year's Sundance Film Festival, Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer said:

"Women of color…we make far less than white women. So, if we're gonna have that conversation about pay equity, we gotta bring the women of color to the table."

Jessica Chastain, who is co-starring with Spencer in an upcoming film, helped her make five times more than the initial offer for their movie together.

Chastain was unaware of the paltry salary offered to many black actresses in the industry.

Spencer added:

"I told her my story and we talked numbers and [Chastain] was quiet, and she had no idea that that's what it was like for women of color."

Many agreed that Long is overdue for a wage increase.

Despite being marked as "difficult," Long was lauded for not staying silent on the issue.

H/T - Variety, TheRoot, Essence, LeanIn, Twitter

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