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Viola Davis Salutes Jessica Chastain for Fair Pay Stance

Viola Davis has applauded Jessica Chastain for taking a salary cut so she and Octavia Spencer could be paid the same for an upcoming movie project.
Mar 5, 2018 by: WENN


Viola Davis Salutes Jessica Chastain for Fair Pay Stance

Viola Davis has applauded Jessica Chastain for taking a salary cut so she and Octavia Spencer could be paid the same for an upcoming movie project.

The Zero Dark Thirty star was appalled to learn she'd be making more than her The Help castmate, and demanded they share the wealth - and then went public with the pay problem.

Davis, who also appeared with the two actresses in The Help, insists Chastain's actions will help other women of color land a fair salary - but other white female stars need to step up and follow her lead.

"I don’t want to tell anyone what to do, but I think Jessica Chastain did a really boss move with Octavia Spencer by saying Octavia’s got to be paid the same as her," Davis says in a new PorterEdit interview. "She actually upped Octavia’s quote for that movie because she took a salary cut.

"I think Caucasian women have to stand in solidarity with us. And they have to understand we are not in the same boat. Even a lot of female-driven events in Hollywood, like power luncheons, which I’ve been to, and are awesome by the way, there will be 3,000 women in that room and five of them are women of color. And it’s by invite! So, you’re not even inviting us."

Oscar winner Davis also used the hard-hitting interview to open up about her experiences with harassment and abuse, revealing, "I have had men touch me in inappropriate ways throughout my childhood. I have had men follow me on any given day, and I am saying during the day, at one o’clock in the afternoon, and expose themselves to me."

She adds, "I remember one day, when I was 27, waiting at the bus stop in Rhode Island for my niece to get out of pre-school. I was probably there 25 minutes, and I am not lying because I counted, 26 cars drove by with men in them who solicited me, harassed me, yelled at me, verbally abused me. Some of these men had baby seats in the back.

"It makes you feel like c**p... and it’s hard to separate that stain from who you are. You tattoo it on yourself." 

She admits the awful experiences at the hands of men have helped her understand the victims of abuse and harassment, who have stepped forward in droves following the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal last year (17). 

"Those personal experiences have allowed me to feel compassion for the women who have spoken up," Davis, who delivered a stirring speech at January's Women's March in Los Angeles, says.