Highest Paid Actresses May Make Less Than Men, But Black Women Nowhere in Top 10

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Jennifer Lawrence, Melissa McCarthy and Scarlett Johansson (Wikipedia)
Jennifer Lawrence, Melissa McCarthy and Scarlett Johansson (Wikipedia)

A report unveiled this year’s set of the highest paid female actors, but the list of 10 women leaves Black actresses out. For the second year in a row, Jennifer Lawrence lands the top spot. A slew of other white actresses follow the Joy star.

According to Forbes, Lawrence made $46 million in the year from June 1, 2015 to June 1, 2016. Melissa McCarthy comes in second with $33 million. Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Aniston are third and fourth with $25 and $21 million respectively in earnings. Chinese actress Fan Bingbing (don’t feel bad if you have to google her name) rounds out the top five. She made $17 million this year.

The pre-tax tallies may be in the millions, but Hollywood stars feel the effects of the gender pay gap, too. The finance magazine is not due to release the highest earning actors list until Thursday, but male actors top women on the highest paid celebrities list.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made $64.5 million followed by Jackie Chan at $61 million, and Matt Damon’s $55 million income. Tom Cruise earned $53 million and Johnny Depp comes in at number five with $48 million.

That means The Rock’s earnings outpace Lawrence’s by almost $20 million.

Many of the actresses on the list had their income supplemented by endorsements and other business ventures. Anniston had deals from brands like Aveeno and SmartWater while McCarthy has her own clothing line.

Still, Black actresses remained vacant from the list for at least a decade. Halle Berry, arguably the most recognizable Black actress in Hollywood, has been absent from the list despite starring in the X-Men franchise since 2000.

Chris Rock provided some insight on Hollywood hypocrisy when it comes to Black actresses’ earnings.

“Black women have the hardest gig in show business,” he told the New Yorker in January. “You hear Jennifer Lawrence complaining about getting paid less because she’s a woman — if she was Black, she’d really have something to complain about.”

The comedian referred to Lawrence’s essay discussing her lower pay over her male peers.

“When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with d—–,” she wrote. “I didn’t get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early.”

The complete list of 2016’s highest-paid actresses is as follows:

  1. Jennifer Lawrence – $46 million
  2. Melissa McCarthy – $33 million
  3. Scarlett Johansson – $25 million
  4. Jennifer Aniston – $21 million
  5. Fan Bingbing – $17 million
  6. Charlize Theron – $16.5 million
  7. Amy Adams – $13.5 million
  8. Julia Roberts – $12 million
  9. Mila Kunis – $11 million
  10. Deepika Padukone – $10 million
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