Angela Bassett could be the highest-paid actress of color ever on a broadcast drama series after successfully negotiating a pay rise ahead of Season 5 of Fox’s flagship drama 9-1-1. According to Deadline, actress and other regulars on the series received a major bump, with Basset taking home $450,000 per episode.
“That is believed to be among the top salaries on network television for any actor — male or female — and could be the highest ever for an actress of color on a broadcast drama series,” according to Deadline.
Bassett leads the show’s cast and also serves as the Executive Producer for it and its spinoff 9-1-1: Lone Star. According to Etonline, Bassett’s reported pay rise means she makes $125,000 per episode less than Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo. The platform further reports that Pompeo makes $575,000 per episode, which amounts to around $20 million per season.
“If 9-1-1 lasts as long as the hospital drama, Bassett could see herself rising in the ranks of TV’s highest-paid actresses in no time,” according to Etonline.
Meanwhile, Peter Krause, who is the male lead on the show, also received a 25% raise of around $300K per episode. Jennifer Love Hewitt, who joined the series in season 2, comes in as the third-highest earner, followed by Connie Britton, who shared top billing with Bassett and Krause in Season 1.
In 2019, Bassett publicly shared a story of how she was molested as a teenager. According to Hollywood Reporter, a teenage Basset was fondled by her mother’s then-boyfriend while she was asleep in her bedroom at night.
The Black Panther actress praised her mother for believing her and quickly taking the necessary actions to protect her from her predator.
“And thankfully to have a mother who could tell as soon as light broke that this happened and for her to expel him, that she heard me, believed me and did something about it, I think was so empowering for me as a young teen, as a young woman.”
She went on to add that though it was not a full-on assault because he touched her breasts in her sleep, for a teenager it can be pretty damaging.
“Fortunately, it wasn’t a complete assault, it was fondling, but it was devastating enough for a child who’s 12 or 13,” the actress stated.
As a mother of teenage twins, daughter Bronwyn and son Slate Vance, Basset said it was important to teach her children boundaries at an early age because then they would be more aware of any anomalies when they occur and be more sensitive to other people’s space and feelings.
“I started that early because of experiences with friends, and I know that they will be in situations one day,” Bassett explained. “When a girl says no, both to him and to her, she means no.”
With 24 years of marriage under her belt, Basset and her husband Courtney B. Vance have been named ‘couple goals’ in Black Hollywood.