Fighting for what they deserve. Angela Bassett may be earning the highest salary ever for an actress of color on a broadcast drama series for her role on 9-1-1. According to a Deadline report published on Tuesday, August 3, the Oscar nominee, 62, led discussions about salary increases ahead of the Fox series’ upcoming fifth season.
The actress, who was involved in the series’ development with creator Ryan Murphy and serves as an executive producer on the show and its spinoff, 9-1-1: Lone Star, is now reportedly making more than $450,000 an episode. The rate is among the top salaries of network television stars.
While some streaming salaries are double Bassett’s rate — Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston raked in $1 million an episode for Apple TV+’s The Morning Show while Kerry Washington made $1.1 million for each hour of Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere — the network numbers are not on the same level.
When it comes to network TV, Grey’s Anatomy star and producer Ellen Pompeo earns $575,000 per episode as the show’s leading cast member. Her costar Chandra Wilson only draws in $125,000 per hour of the ABC medical drama. (As another example, when Washington starred on ABC’s Scandal, she earned $80,00 an episode.)
In 2018, Pompeo publicly revealed her $20 million yearly salary and her fight to get to that number, detailing the years of negotiations she went through with the studio. ”
“As women, you know, it’s not only about what’s done to us or what’s not given to us. It’s what don’t we ask for,” the actress said on Jimmy Kimmel Live about why she was so open about her income. “You know, how much of it is [it] isn’t given to us, or is it that we don’t ask? I think that as much as we can point the finger at other people and [say], ‘You don’t give us or you don’t treat us fairly,’ We also have to point the finger at ourselves and say, ‘Did we ask? Did we step up and have the uh, gumption, to ask for what a man would?’ We have to own part of it. And sometimes we’re too shy; we’re too afraid to be seen as difficult to really speak our mind.”
In 2020, Forbes announced that Sofia Vergara remained the highest-paid TV star, bringing in $500,000 per episode for her role on ABC’s comedy Modern Family, and $10 million a season for her judging stint on America’s Got Talent.
Sign up for Us Weekly's free, daily newsletter and never miss breaking news or exclusive stories about your favorite celebrities, TV shows and more!
So, what type of raises did the rest of the 9-1-1 cast receive? Scroll down to see more about each star’s salary boost: