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Taraji P. Henson to 'Ebony': 'I'm Treated Like I'm On the D-List'

Taraji P. Henson to 'Ebony': 'I'm Treated Like I'm On the D-List'

Taraji P. Henson looks beautiful on the cover of Ebony magazine‘s October 2014 issue.

The 43-year-old actress opened up to the mag about not feeling she has earned the respect she believes she has deserved for her career accomplishments, which includes an Oscar nomination for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

“I’m treated like I’m on the D-list,” Taraji said. “I’m still being considered with actresses who haven’t done half the stuff I’ve achieved.”

“When people tell me ‘no,’ I get hyped,” she added. “Because when I prove that I can and will, I love watching people eat crow.”

While she might think she is treated as though she is on the D-list, Taraji says she uses her status to get some special treatment to get her “fat ass into a restaurant. If someone tells me there’s a wait, I’ll walk right to the front of the line like, ‘I need a table now. I need to eat, and I want this. So let’s work this out.’”

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Photos: Ebony
Posted to: Taraji P. Henson

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  • Jan


  • Rach

    Looks amazing and she’s an excellent actress

  • sabrina

    She is an excellent actress, but if she feels she is being treated like D list then get new management. There are only a few A+ listers that don’t have to read for roles and compete for them. Even A listers have to and complaining like this isn’t going to get her anywhere.

  • Yeah I said it

    Well since she worked with brad Pitt and pretends he’s her friend why didn’t he hire her for Selma or one of the other black sentric movies he’s making? He’s saving black people but not his “friend” Taraji.

  • BB

    She sounds incredibly entitled. Hopefully next time she cuts to the front of the line someone trips her. It would be well deserved.

  • Ro

    What a DIVA!!! Would u like some cheese with that Whine? Seriously hope I never hear about this ego again. Lady you are in the D-list get use to it, by complaining ur destroying ur chances of working with other people. Just because u have done some good work doesn’t mean people like you.

  • sweetness

    she sounds honest…because she is verbalizing what many American black actresses feel. Many have worked hard and have extensive credits but they are still treated like D list or C list actresses…because what white actresses have in Hollywood are connections with directors or producers. Kerry Washington has been around for ages but one would think she just broke out with Scandal. It’s not entitlement its simple frustration for putting in years or work for their craft but not getting that easy recognition that young white actresses get with one or two franchise roles and then support of studio heads. Angela Bassett in another hard working actress who is great, but she’ll never be able to get a movie green lit with her name alone as lead star. In 10 years we’ll be reading that Lupita N’yongo will say the same thing.

  • forrest gump

    since when she isn’t?

  • Oh boy

    @Yeah I said it: If Hollywood does not make black centric movies they are being racist. If they are making black centric movies it a savoir complex. Get your argument together before complaining.
    Also being treated like an A lister means you don’t have to ask Brad for a favor. You walk into the head of the studio’s office and sell your project to them.

  • She ain’t that great

    Bad diva attitude, especially cutting in front at a restaurant. She needs to get over herself, because she’s not doing herself any favors.

  • meow

    @sweetness: you’re the only one that hit the nail on the head with taraji’s perception. and i feel exactly the same way with angela bassett, she should be costarring with a-listers in movies and that’s been looooong overdue, she’s an incredible actress that is sooo underrated but if hollywood gives her a shot for a big movie, trust me, her star will shine brighter than the rest of her castmates performances. i feel that lupita may get heat sometimes but doesn’t show it with her quiet, poised demeanor so i think that’s why she gets the medias attention by being so bold in her fashion choices and being a style icon so she can actually get invited to a-list fashion shows which in fact did give her alot of exposure before she received her oscar. can’t wait for AHS by the way lol

  • Yeah I said it

    @Oh boy: brad pitt is not the all of Hollywood. He’s an actor/producer with clout. He can hire who wants to hire but he didn’t hire his friend Taraji. He also knows what’s popular and what’s not popular and is good at capitalizing on what’s popular at the moment.

  • Tina

    This is why most female actresses tend not to be vocal, honest and raw when giving interviews. She’s being honest about how she feels she’s perceived in Hollywood. I see nothing wrong with what she says. We live in a world that Kim K. is considered A list.

  • Mike

    I like her movies, she is beautiful, and I appreciate her honesty. But… I wish people weren’t so entitled to things. I get that she works hard but this is the real world. The world doesn’t owe you anything. This is a problem I think the younger generations from her on down are going to have to learn the hard way. There are plenty of a listers who read for roles. There are plenty who don’t just have things handed to them. Why should she be any different? To give something to someone for their color is the same thing as not giving it to them.

  • who is this hoe???

    bitch get over yourself! like who are you? u sang about pimps and hoes in that ternence howard movie and now u think ur A-list? get ur entitled ass to the back of the line! u are an actress not a brain surgeon…. damnnnnn! no longer a fan

  • Kirsten

    I actually love Taraji and think she is a very beautiful, fun and a capable and charismatic actress. However, I don’t like her “I need a table now” attitude. I know most stars do this but I seriously always roll my eyes at the celebrity entitlement. I do get what she is saying even though she is being blunt. So many actors of color have been rocking it for years and receive little to no recognition or prominent roles.

    Why is Brad Pitt’s name coming up so often in the comments? He is a great actor and person but he doesn’t “hand out” roles to all of his friends. I don’t think that is his job to do. Nor is he a casting director. It makes me laugh that people are randomly pointing fingers at him.

  • Amber

    I don’t like her attitude.

  • LOL

    Another point I’d like to add is..if a black woman speaks direct she’s being labeled with an attitude. Excuse me, how many white actresses speak their mind and no one labels them that..In fact they are celebrated for being direct and honest. As a person of color that is why in business or politics that “she’s got an attitude” label is used to shut black women down. Why shouldn’t she speak out. No one labels George Clooney with an attitude or Julia Roberts..but lo and behold let a black woman be blunt or direct..she’s got an attitude or she thinks she’s entitled.
    As for her taking roles in films…that may not be perfect or some outright crappy movies…she’s got to make a living just like every other legit actress…Hollywood is not filled with an abundance of A list roles for black women. Lupita most definitely will stay passive and quiet and yes she can be a spokesmodel because that’s easy, but that’s not bank rolling her in a movie like Scarlett Johanssen will get if she wants to do a movie.

  • Joan

    I knew people in the comments were gonna use the “black card”. Who is she anyways??? you ARE in the d-list, don’t act like a DIVA!!

  • Carina Perez

    Taraji is right. We need more diversity! Check out this video about casting in the industry. Women of color need to be asked! We exist!

  • yo

    She is not a D-Listed. She was nominated for an Oscar for Pete’s sake, she is just underrated. But a lot of actors nowadays are because we keep promoting the actual D-Listers *cough* *Twilight actors*.

  • C

    I like Taraji as an actress and think she has given us, the audience, some great performamces. And even if I understand her frustration about not getting the recognition she deserves for her past roles, I can’t help but think that doesn’t give her the right to be rude. But maybe she just choose the wrong words to articulate how she feels she has to act to get roles (and recognition in the industry). Doesn’t change that what she said makes her sound very self-involved and that’s what people will remember about this interview, not what a good actress she is, but that she sounds like a very rude person who takes herself too seriously.

  • Friend

    I thought she was great in Benjamin Button, and she deserved to be nominated for an Oscar. I also enjoyed watching her on Person of Interest and was sad to see her character go from the show.
    However, she’s not the only actor who’s been nominated or even won without it having a big impact on their subsequent career. Show biz is fickle and unfair. Why did it take so long for Al Pacino to win an Oscar despite being in so many classic films while Jennifer Hudson won one for her first role in a pretty forgettable film? A lot of times it’s mostly about successful PR marketing and having connections in powerful positions. She shouldn’t think it’s just about her color or gender. Maybe she should focus on making friends with film makers that she wants to work with. For example, Lee Daniels keeps putting Mariah Carey in his movies even though she’s not exactly known for her acting skills but they are friends…

  • whinypeople

    Wah wah I’m black no one loves. Whatever…

  • Lily

    I’ve never seen her before, who is she?

  • kelly

    she is not on the D-list because of her skills, but her poor attitude. who says stuff like this? “If someone tells me there’s a wait, I’ll walk right to the front of the line like, ‘I need a table now. I need to eat, and I want this. So let’s work this out.’”

  • cate

    “Taraji says she uses her status to get some special treatment to get her “fat ass into a restaurant. If someone tells me there’s a wait, I’ll walk right to the front of the line like, ‘I need a table now. I need to eat, and I want this. So let’s work this out.’”

    Well, I don’t think she did herself any favours with this interview. She sounds like a rude person with a bad attitude. Why exactly does she think she is entitled to push to the front of the line? As if her needs are more important than the other people waiting.

  • Diedre

    Hmmm…does it ever occur to her that she’s treated with little respect because she’s obviously an entitled b!tch?
    If she was any kind of notable actress the public would be more aware of her.
    Sit down, shut up, and wait your turn. You’re no better than anybody else.

  • remember da truth

    I clicked on this thread because Taraji is cute and talented, and I’ve loved her in the movies I’ve seen her in.
    Lily, check out her IMDB page. You might have seen her and not known it, because she immerses herself in a role and is often unrecognizable from one role to another.

    However, while I agree with the assertions that she is not treated as well as her work merits (she NEVER said because she’s black, so commenters YOU are the ones saying that and need to re-read what her intent was), I was immediately turned off by her apparent belief that she’s better than the average person who is also hungry and wants a table NOW.

    It’s one thing to be frustrated at having to fight for a role the same as you did in your 20′s, as if you didn’t have a body of work to point to. Many women in their 40′s will recognize that in other fields too — business, politics, finance. However, it’s another to act like you automatically deserve special treatment above others.

    Maybe her belief in her superiority is why she’s not being heard in her work, too? Nothing to do with gender or race or age, just conceit and entitlement holding her back?

  • kami

    talent doesn’t matter in hollywood. if she becomes a slut, hooks up with someone famous, and calls the paps every day, she’ll be on every tabloid site.

  • Sayer

    @sweetness: Lupita is smarter than this. She isn’t waiting for Hollywood to give her roles. She’s producing her own movies.

  • Teeter

    Deny it all you like, but what she is speaking of does have racial undertones. Sorry, we don’t live in a post racial society. She has been in dozens of movies for which she has received critical acclaim, but does not get the recognition that she deserves. Meanwhile “actresses” like Blake Lively seem to be on all of the magazine covers. Do you truly believe there is no racial component?

  • dieu

    She is definitely on the F list…. effing insecure, grandiose, vacuous attitude… d-list my azzzzzzzzzzzz

  • dee

    @Tina: WORD. This woman has *actual* talent, yet people would pick Kim K over Taraji. Sad truth that annoys me.

  • muzikxxx

    yeah, that last part was annoying. That sense of entitlement because she’s been in movies. Regular 9-5 shift working people are hungry as well. No one cares about your resume in that line.