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August 20, 2021

Angela Bassett Makes History as One of the Highest-Paid Black Women on TV

Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett, who stars in the hit TV series 9-1-1, has become one of the highest-paid Black women in the history of broadcast television. She is now being paid more than $450,000 an episode.

For more than 30 years, Bassett has proven to be one of the finest actresses in film and television. Fox's hit show 9-1-1, wherein she has been lead starring since 2018, is even created specifically for her. She has since been involved with the show's development alongside Ryan Murphy and now also serves as one of the executive producers of the show as well as its spinoff 9-1-1: Lone Star.

Most recently, the casts of the show, which highlights the job of first responders, reportedly received 25 percent raises for the upcoming season. Actors such as Peter Frause and Jennifer Love Hewitt are set to receive around $300,000 per episode. The remaining cast — Aisha Hinds, Kenneth Choi, Oliver Stark, Ryan Guzman, and Rockmond Dunbar — are making at least $80,000 per episode, which will possibly increase to $100,000 in Season 6.

The deal was reached after pay disparity was noticed between the cast members, especially when Stark, who is white, gained a 130 percent pay increase per episode while his non-white co-stars only received 25 percent. This moment is considered a significant step towards pushing pay equity for women of color.

With Bassett's recent pay increase, she joins the ranks of Black actresses such as Scandal's Kerry Washington, Grey's Anatomy's Chandra Wilson, and How To Get Away With Murder's Viola Davis. Bassett is believed to be one of the highest-paid actors — male or female — and could be the highest-ever for an actress of color on a broadcast drama series.