Viola Davis Praised for Powerful Pay Gap Speech: 'Pay Me What I'm Worth'

A video of actress Viola Davis discussing the ethnicity wage gap has gone viral on Twitter. The clip is from Davis' interview with Tina Brown at a Women of the World event in 2018, where she discussed the pay gap between men and women, and between Black women and white women.

In the viral clip—which has more than 2.4 million views at the time of writing—Davis says: "I got the Oscar, I got the Emmy, I got the two Tonys, I've done Broadway, I've done off-Broadway, I've done TV, I've done film, I've done all of it.

"I have a career that's probably comparable to Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Sigourney Weaver. They all came out of Yale, they came out of Julliard, they came out of NYU. They had the same path as me, and yet I am nowhere near them, not as far as money, not as far as job opportunities, nowhere close to it.

"But I have to get on that phone and people say: 'You're a Black Meryl Streep...There is no one like you.' Okay, then if there's no one like me, you think I'm that, you pay me what I'm worth. You give me what I'm worth."

According to a report by the National Women's Law Center, Black women would have to work one calendar year and up to August 22 of the next to earn as much as their white male counterparts do in one calendar year. This means that over a 40-year career, Black women earn $946,120 less than white men.

Davis was praised for her speech on the gender pay gap and ethnicity pay gap in her interview with Brown when the clip resurfaced on Tuesday.

Actress Gabrielle Union shared the video on Twitter and said: "This!!!!!! All day THIS!!!!' and Bakari Sellers posted the video, calling it "So powerful."

Writer Nnedi Okorafor said: "THIS is just a hint of why I'm so proud and pleased to be working with Viola Davis on Wild Seed and in general. She moves with CLARITY."

YouTuber Kalen Allen shared the video and said: "I would love to just sit in the midst of Viola Davis for a day! I'll never forget meeting her at Disneyland and it just being nothing but pure light!"

Viola Davis has starred in movies including Fences, The Help, Widows, and Doubt, TV shows like Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and City of Angeles, and has won Tony Awards for her performances in King Hedley II and Fences on Broadway.

Viola Davis
Viola Davis attends the EE British Academy Film Awards at Royal Albert Hall on February 10, 2019 in London, England. Viola Davis has been praised for speaking out about the gender and ethnicity pay gap in an interview that has resurfaced on Twitter. Samir Hussein/Getty