Angela Bassett is reportedly the highest-paid Black actress in broadcast television history, thanks to a series of pay increases on Fox’s drama series 9-1-1.
According to Deadline, Bassett’s extra compensation of nearly $450,000 per episode is among the highest rates on network television for any performer, male or female, after a substantial round of talks ahead of Season 5.
It’s a first for a woman of color on a broadcast drama series and a milestone many fans believe is long overdue. The Oscar-nominated actress also acts as executive producer on the series that director Ryan Murphy devised for her. Bassett earns a lot of money thanks to her prominent position and EP title on 9-1-1 and 9-1-1 Lone Star.
According to ET, Bassett’s increase means she will earn $125,000 per episode next to Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo. Pompeo, the 10th highest-paid TV actress, presently earns $575,000 every episode on the hit medical drama, bringing her annual earnings to over $20 million as reported by Forbes.
The rises followed controversy about Stark being the only cast member to receive a pay hike in Season 4 despite having fewer performing credentials than his peers. Stark received a cumulative rise of almost 130 percent over the last 12 months, compared to a 25 percent raise for his seasoned co-stars, sparking discussions over Hollywood’s history of racism and unfair pay tendencies.
In the end, everyone signed in and agreed that indeed Angela Bassett went on and made history on television.