When Angela Bassett renegotiated her salary for “9-1-1,” her ask made headlines. According to Vanity Fair, her $450,000 per episode salary was dubbed as “historic” because it meant that she could now be one of the highest-paid actresses of color in network television.
But, as the outlet correctly points out, Bassett’s salary bump wasn’t just for her acting chops (although to be fair, that’s reason enough to pay her that much). Rather, that salary also encompasses her duties as the executive producer of both the flagship show and its spin-off, “9-1-1: Lone Star.” When that’s factored in, it means that dollar for dollar, she’s not making anything near what she deserves. What’s more, what Angela Bassett is making pales in comparison to what some other Hollywood actresses are making.
“Higher per-episode paydays were received by Sofia Vergara, who earned a reported $500,000 an episode of ‘Modern Family’ by the end of that show’s run, and Kaley Cuoco, who reportedly received $900,000 per episode of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ during her sitcom’s final seasons,” they report.
Let’s be clear. This is not to say that one shouldn’t celebrate victories. On the contrary: any time a Black actress like Angela Bassett makes money like this, she deserves her flowers, and then some. But it is to say that we need to look at both how far we’ve come and how far we have to go in order to achieve both equity and equality. And if Bassett’s white counterparts are making more, then she should, as well.
With that in mind, we decided to compare what Angela Bassett’s top salary is, compared to the salaries of some of the top-earning television actresses in Hollywood.
What Is Angela Bassett's Salary?
Deadline broke the exclusive news that Angela Bassett is now making a whopping $450,000 per episode of “9-1-1.”
“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,” reports the outlet. “For Oscar-nominated Bassett, it encompasses other services beyond acting. She was involved in the development of ‘9-1-1,’ which Ryan Murphy created for her.”
As previously mentioned, that means that the $450,000 per episode is for both her acting and her EP services.
What Is Angela Bassett's Net Worth?
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Angela Bassett has a net worth of $25 million as of 2021. But, as the outlet points out, Bassett’s net worth is combined with that of her husband, Courtney B. Vance (whom she has been married to for more than 25 years).
In addition to her salary, Angela Bassett’s net worth comes from some real estate deals. Berg Properties revealed that Bassett and Vance put their Hancock Park property on the market back in 2007. Initially, they listed it for more than $5 million. But after knocking down the price, they sold the property for $3.8 million in 2008. Bassett owned the house since the 1990s — before she met and married Vance — and bought the house from Vietnam vet and gay rights activist Duke Comegys.
Who Are The Highest-Paid TV Actresses In Hollywood?
Newsweek points out that while Angela Bassett makes a handsome — and well-deserved — salary per episode of “9-1-1,” her white counterparts have made, and are making, far more than she is.
For example, the cast of “Friends” made $750,000, each, per episode, in 2001.
Continuing on in the “Friends” theme, Apple TV+ pays Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon $2 million each, per episode, in 2021 for their roles in “The Morning Show.”
Ellen Pompeo of “Grey’s Anatomy,” meanwhile, makes $550,000 per episode as of 2020, plus takes home a portion of the show’s syndication profits (which puts another $6 million a year in her pockets).
But all that pales in comparison to Kelsey Grammar, who made $1.6 million per episode of “Frasier” back in 2001. This made him the highest-earning actor in history on television.