Taye Diggs Says He And The Cast For ‘The Best Man Holiday’ Were Paid ‘Pennies’

In case you missed it, “The Best Man” franchise has returned, but this time as a limited series on the streaming service Peacock.

While the franchise has certainly made a lot of noise over the years, you may be surprised to find out the illustrious cast’s star power wasn’t always reflected in their compensation.

Created by director and writer Malcolm D. Lee, the first two projects grossed the following:

However, despite the success of the first two films and the evident star power of the cast, the actors weren’t necessarily compensated fairly when it was time to reprise their roles in “The Best Man Holiday.”

Taye Diggs, who plays Harper Stewart, claimed in a previous interview that the cast was only paid half of what they were worth. The stars still pushed forward, because they recognized how special the film was for the culture.

We had been working, all of us had been working. And we knew our worth. And all of us had to say, ‘Okay, we want to be a part of this and it’s special. But at the same time, if we do it, you know, we got to take half the amount of money that we’re worth’… But we all did it. We were all like, ‘This is bigger than them,’” Diggs said on an episode of Strong Black Legends for Netflix’s Strong Black Lead.

By this point, the cast had already received various accolades and recognitions within the entertainment landscape.

“Terrence, you know, he had been, I think, nominated for an Oscar. And, you know, it’s like, it’s embarrassing to — not embarrassing — it’s disrespectful to go to a studio and look at these people in their face and say, ‘You know how much I’m worth. I know how much I’m worth. But you’re smiling at me, asking me to do this for pennies,’” Diggs explained.

The cast’s sacrifices surely weren’t in vain, as the film grossed more than double the original and stole the hearts of fans once again.

“We did more than we thought and the movie was — was more than we thought. We — I didn’t know it was going to affect people in the same way. I didn’t know it was going to affect people in the way that it did,” Diggs said.

It is important to note, many Black actors share similar truths when it comes to unfair compensation.

As Hiphopraisedmetheblog.com previously told you, Taraji P. Henson says she wasn’t paid what she was worth until Tyler Perry stepped up and broke the standard.

According to a report released by Variety in 2016, actress Viola Davis earned $250,000 per episode on ABC’s “How To Get Away With Murder.” Additionally, it was estimated that Kerry Washington made $250,000 on each episode of “Scandal.” Their earnings might seem impressive until you consider “Grey’s Anatomy” actress Ellen Pompeo, who earned $400,000 per episode on the same network in the same category, drama.

In addition, in the comedy category, Tracee Ellis Ross earned $80,000 per episode and her co-star Anthony Anderson earned $100,000 per episode for their roles on “Black-ish.” In comparison, “Last Man Standing” star Tim Allen received an estimated $250,000 per episode on the same network.

Based on the numbers, it’s clear that there is and has been a pay equity problem in Hollywood.

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