Only One Black Person Made Forbes’ Highest Paid Actors List—Can You Guess Who?

TOPSHOT – The Hollywood Sign is pictured during a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the first time it was lit, in Los Angeles, California, on December 8, 2023. (Photo by DAVID SWANSON / AFP) (Photo by DAVID SWANSON/AFP via Getty Images)

The numbers are in and now we know which thespians raked in the most money this past year per Forbes 2023 highest paid actors list. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much diversity in the rankings.

The 10 highest-paid stars brought in a reported $449 million last year from their work in movies and small stints in TV due to the writers strike. Topping the list is Adam Sandler, who earned $73 million ($97 million gross) according to the outlet. He’s followed by Margot Robbie, $59 million ($78 million gross), Tom Cruise, $45 million ($53 million gross), Ryan Gosling, $43 million ($50 million gross), Matt Damon, $43 million ($50 million gross), Jennifer Aniston, $42 million ($56 million gross), Leonardo DiCaprio, $41 million ($48 million gross), Jason Statham, $41 million ($48 million gross), and Ben Affleck $38 million ($45 million).

Denzel Washington comes in last on the list and is the only non-white actor to be recognized in the rankings due to his reported $24 million in earnings he received for roles from 2023.

The rankings reflect criticisms made about the stark pay disparity minorities face in Hollywood. Earlier this year while promoting The Color Purple motion feature film, one of its lead actresses Taraji P. Henson made headlines when she decried financial inequity in the industry, and how it specifically affects her as a Black woman.

During a 2023 SiriusXM interview with Gayle King, Henson fought tears when asked about whether she was thinking about quitting acting amid the increasing tumult in the entertainment industry. Henson shared that she found immense difficulty navigating the pay inequity the most.

Article continues after video.

“I’m just tired of working so hard, being gracious at what I do [and] getting paid a fraction of the cost,” Henson proclaimed during the interview. “I’m tired of hearing my sisters say the same thing over and over. You get tired. I hear people go, ‘You work a lot.’ Well, I have to. The math ain’t math-ing. When you start working a lot, you have a team. Big bills come with what we do. We don’t do this alone. It’s a whole team behind us. They have to get paid.”

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