It has been almost two months since the coronavirus pandemic halts the operation of major industries, including movie and television. Just like the rest of the suspended work, the entertainment industry is also bleeding their pockets out to survive this health crisis.
Because of this, Hollywood actress Gabrielle Union dropped some truth bombs on how the workforce shut down is affecting celebrities like her, particularly black actors.
Put simply, everyone is not ready for it.
In an Instagram Live session with model Sharam Diniz, the 47-year-old actress revealed that most black celebrities are currently struggling to pay their bills due to the massive production shutdown.
"For all of the Oprah [Winfrey] 's and the people who have just a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot of money, most of us are one or two checks away from not having money to pay for all of our things," Gabrielle said.
"So this stoppage of work and money is impacting marginalized celebrities the most."
When the statement fo the "Bring It On" star went viral on social media, Gabrielle defended herself and elaborated on the message she would like to send.
On Tuesday, the actress took to her Twitter to respond to the comments saying that her answers are not meant to compare struggles.
She clarified that the question was specifically aimed at how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting Hollywood and Black Hollywood in general.
"I have been at every level of the game, so I speak from personal experience. That is all. But let's discuss," Union added.
The "Breaking In" actress also claimed that black celebrities earn less than their white colleagues, which gives them less capital to hold during a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic.
Gabrielle then encouraged her fellow black workers to share their stories to shed light on the pay gap issue. To back up her claims, the actress cited the figures that Screen Actors Guild members make compared to what regular actors receive.
"The average SAG (actor union) actor makes around 54k a year, while VAST MAJORITY make(s) less than 1k a year from acting work," Gabrielle wrote.
"If we just look at Black actors, those #s go down even further. Let's keep talking. Share your stories. Every actor whose name you recognize started somewhere."
Championing Black Women
It is not the first time that Gabrielle spoke up about the unfair treatment of black actors in the entertainment industry.
Last year, the actress also left "America's Got Talent" for what she claimed as racial insensitivity on the set.
After leaving "America's Got Talent," Gabrielle then encouraged her fellow black women in the entertainment industry to stand up for themselves.
In a panel event in New York City last December 2019, the actress pushed for black actors to not only speak their truth but also to stand up for their beliefs -- even it means losing their jobs.