No Blacks Make Forbes Highest-Paid Actresses List

Published by Clay Cane on Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 12:00 am.

Forbes released their list of the highest-paid actresses from June 2009 to June 2010. There was a lil’ something missing in the top 10 — some color. No Kerry Washington, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, or even Zoe Saldana. One would think times are getting easier for Black women in Hollywood, but in 2010 women of color are still competing for financial respect in the same ways Hattie McDaniel and Dorothy Dandridge had to back in the day.

I give a big congratulations to the ladies who are the highest paid, but I can’t ignore the fact that many of these actresses haven’t had a hit movie in years — by no fault of their own, but still grossing $27 million.  Jennifer Aniston ranks number 4 on the list but has made critical and box office flops for years (2009’s Love Happens and 2010’s The Bounty Hunter are great examples).

Reese Witherspoon didn’t even release a film in 2010. She lent her voice to 2009’s Monsters vs. Aliens, but her last “hit” movie was 2005’s Walk The Line. Sarah Jessica Parker, I love her dearly, nonetheless, outside of Sex and the City, her films have consistently flopped.  Even Sex and the City 2 was a box office disappointment (debuting at number 4 opening weekend) — not reaching anywhere near the box office numbers it expected.

There is  Cameron Diaz, whose father is Cuban, however, some would argue that she is perceived as White despite her Latin heritage.  She recently said to Playboy, “Where I grew up all the Diazes had brown hair, brown skin and brown eyes, so there was a bit of ‘You’re not a Latina.’ I do identify with my culture. My dad’s first language was Spanish, but he didn’t teach it to us because he was made fun of growing up and didn’t want that to happen to my sister and me. He regretted that choice later.”

This is not to blame the actresses on the list — they are trying to make a dollar like everyone else. However, the fact that these actresses can have consistent flops for years and the powers that be in Hollywood will pay them more than a Zoe Saldana (she has eight films to her credit in 2009 and 2010!) and pay them more than women who are having bigger hit movies and working more frequently… wow!

Check out the list below.

1. Sandra Bullock: $56 million
2. Reese Witherspoon: $32 million
3. Cameron Diaz: $32 million
4. Jennifer Aniston: $27 million
5. Sarah Jessica Parker: $25 million
6. Julia Roberts: $20 million
7. Angelina Jolie: $20 million
8. Drew Barrymore: $15 million
9. Meryl Streep: $13 million
10. Kristen Stewart: $12 million


Dorothy Dandridge

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Keith S. Said on

The only thing I can say is thats white people for you. And it’s amazing that these women have flops one right after another and get paid that kind of money. Absolutely ridiculous. Something is not right. In my opinion those powers to be don’t want women of color to get paid or look better in any way like there white counterparts. For all those African American and Latina women I applause you for your courage. It’s not only a tough business, but a racist business as well. The struggle continues. May god be with you always!

sickwitit Said on

i would think angie would be closer to the top, but yeah you are spot on about the top of the list…

Rousseau Said on

Also, Zoe Saldana obviously won’t get paid as much as the people in the top 5. Those actresses have been in the industry for so many more years. Outside of science fiction franchises in which people go to see it for the content, not the actors, she hasn’t been successful at all. Just look at Death at a Funeral and The Losers. She’s working more frequently because her quota is much much cheaper.

Nafis Said on

Its definetly something wrong with that picture. I guess when they need some flavor in there movies the price is going to cost them. Has anyone visited

Mario Agard Said on

Nothing personal but (SJP=25M)(Jennifer Aniston=27M)(Reese Witherspoon=32M) for bomb after bomb @ the box office. The it Girls who recieve the big bucks and give their fans the big bombs the first weekend out the box. Their not hungry enough these three, they come out with at lease 4 movies a year, how many stay in the theaters 3 weeks. I only give credit to their agents. We know that there are many black/latino female actors who are great actors in many movies but may never be given their just do. OUR SOCIETY MAY NEVER CHANGE……

unknown Said on


charlene Said on


peter clarke Said on

stop complaining oprah and beyonce are number 1 and 2, I didn’t hear anyone complain. just shut up

jeffrey ( jethro ) Said on

Maybe if Black actress did like Sandra Bullock and kidnapped kids out of Africa. That was nothing but publicty stunt to boost her career and her bank account.

KJ Said on

Who cares who are adopting kids out of Afica as long as somebody is doing it. I sure as hell don’t see our people adopting!

Carla Said on

What baby Sandra adopted out of Africa.. I recall the sweet little child being from New Orleans, truly a long ways from Africa. By the way, since you are an adult and should know better, pack you A@@ up and go to Africa. I feel anyone can adopt whomever they want to. I am a black woman and right now I am dealing with a 13 year old white female, who parents (white) only adopted her for the money. This child cries everyday and wants her real parents, because she is treated so bad. Anytime you make a child eat food out of a can cold, won’t buy them shoes, cause the soles are worn out, or you take the simpliest away from a child like ice cream that is sad. But the mother cooks dinner for the dad and state to the child she cannot eat until after the father. Or don’t touch his ice cream, chips etc.. I have ask this child to talk to someone and they state that she is fabricating this story and she is not. So Jeffrey (Jethro) cool it.

stanley Said on

It doesn’t matter if its a franchise movie like Avatar or Star Trek a hit movie, is a hit movie! The kids on Harry Porter are making Big $$$$ but not still after their 5th film. So maybe Zoe need success from Avatar 2, and another star trek movie before she rank in more $$$. I dunno.

And Ms Zoe should be getting atleast 5-6 million a flim at this point in her career anyway. Maybe not enough to make the top list. But I don’t feel sorry for anyone making millions.

rob Said on

there is a simple answer to this first and foremost how many leading black men are in the industry besides denzell because alot of those women in the top ten play roles that the public cant see any other race playing and i mean lets face it most big budget movies are not written with for a leading black man or women besides denzell and how long did it take him to get the credit he deserved so all in all if you get n million dollar contracts u shouldnt be complaining and remember the alot of those top ten ladies who movies didnt do well at the theatre did great in dvd sales which means they are not losing those companies any money so as far as the companies are concern its a win win either way because the movie will break even after dvd sales or its a block buster and they make 100’s of millions off of it

Lola Said on

Angelina Jolie – YUCK!!!! she stinks. Reese Witherspoon? In my humble opinion….not one actress on there deserves one cent of my money. I like Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Anniston…..what is wrong with this picture. I guess actresses/actors or color do not count at all. – SAD. Shame on you Forbes….

dottie Said on

What can I say, hollywood has always been and probably always be a racist industry,it’s nothing new. I agree with everything keith s. said.

Leon Wilson Said on

If you’re making millions of dollars, why complain. There is a lot of griping
in America. So many are blessed to have so much and still want so much
more. Life is so short for so many. Thank God for being alive on this side.