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.
Nia Long speaks about the gender pay gap and if Hollywood is making a concerted effort to change the way things are… https://t.co/trdLPW13rO— EBONY MAGAZINE (@EBONY MAGAZINE)1535555480.0
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."
Nia Long is no longer allowing men to get rich off her and we’re here for it! https://t.co/R1hPx1yLnF https://t.co/3TYBMCcMGK— xoNecole (@xoNecole)1535654307.0
#Nia Long..... 👏👏👏👏👏@iamnialong ....... #keliskayblog #blackgirlrock #producer #blackgirlmagic #nialong… https://t.co/BB3P3MryE0— keliskayblog (@keliskayblog)1535634757.0
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.
"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."
Today is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, so I’d like to remind you what allyship looks like. Remember when Jessica Cha… https://t.co/G6fcpp4B0N— J.A.B. (@J.A.B.)1533643778.0
Many agreed that Long is overdue for a wage increase.
@blackvoices she's right! that there's sexism pay gap! & race pay gap! that's why its so important to be for us' by… https://t.co/ygraxyRw36— emilyinnocent21 (@emilyinnocent21)1535410822.0
@blackvoices They need to pay sis her coins!— FelichaStevens (@FelichaStevens)1535410022.0
@EBONYMag Some man, somewhere is itching to write something to discredit her. Probably do some nuanced like say she… https://t.co/ayIbDKHBUu— Dui Jarrod (@Dui Jarrod)1535489905.0
Despite being marked as "difficult," Long was lauded for not staying silent on the issue.
@BETherTV I respect her decision to speak up. It's sad that we don't see more of Nia Long. She's right, and she's b… https://t.co/H1nbaUBD3P— Yvonne Harris-Nutall (@Yvonne Harris-Nutall)1535455002.0