Belfast Telegraph

Taraji P. Henson urges women to shun trash-talk

Taraji P. Henson demands equal pay.

Actress Taraji P. Henson refuses to receive abuse from others and she advises other women to do the same.

The 45-year-old Empire star received the Lucy Award for Excellence in Television at the 2016 Women In Film Crystal + Lucy Awards in Los Angeles on Wednesday (15Jun16) and she credits all the great strides she's accomplished in her career to having tough skin.

"Just don't take no s**t," she told People magazine when addressing how women should empower themselves. "You know, know you have a voice. Know that your voice is important, and fight until it's heard. That's what I did.

"People are honouring me, and that's because I've worked my a** off to let people know that my voice is important, and you will not smother me. You will not tell me that I'm not important. You will not tell me. So that's how I build a career. I watched a lot of people eat crow."

The gender pay gap issue has gripped American feminists for quite a long time now and Taraji couldn't help but jump into the debate while picking up her award at the ceremony.

The Hustle & Flow star urged women to seek salaries equal to the pay their male colleagues receive, no matter what industry they may be working in.

"We're all we got ladies," the actress told the crowd. "If we don't support each other, who will? We have a bad rap sometimes in this industry – diva, difficult, catty. When all we're doing is, in those moments when you call us being difficult, we're fighting for what we deserve."

She added: "If I do a job just as well as a man, people tune in every week, they see me, they root for me just like they root for him. Why should my pay be less than his?"

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