Jada Pinkett Smith praises Jessica Chastain for helping Octavia Spencer get paid


Jada Pinkett Smith attended the Sundance Film Festival as a judge and as a the host of “The Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation Presents Broadening the Lens: Perspective on Diverse Storytelling” panel. Other panelists included Lena Waithe, Effie Brown, Radha Blank, Christine D’Souza, Poppy Hanks, Minhal Baig and Ezra Edelman. During thediscussion of representation on film and in the industry, Jada took a minute to recognize Jessica Chastain for practicing what she preached. Jessica is set to appear with Octavia Spencer in a new comedy. During negotiations, Jada claims that Jessica stood by Octavia so they could both secure a decent deal for the film. A clip of Jada’s comments was posted to Twitter:

Jessica said to Octavia, “I got you.” I’m going to Universal and we’re going to make a favorite nations deal. And Jessica stoop up for Octavia. And I want you to know that because they stood up together, they got three times what they were asking for – as a unit. And that’s how I’m telling you, how – it’s nice to go out and march, we can do that. It’s nice to wear black at the Golden Globes. It’s nice to do that. But what are we doing behind closed doors? And I gotta give our sister Jessica Chastain her props because she stood up for Octavia and put it down. And that’s how we all need to do it, for each other.”

“But what are we doing behind closed doors?” for me, this is the crossroads at which we stand. I am all for outspoken advocacy on social media and taking it to the streets, but when the cameras are turned off, when there is no audience, what will we do to further our causes? I love that Jessica backed up her convictions. I love that Jada made a point to acknowledge it and to show how working together benefitted them both. I am appalled that Octavia is not given everything she deserves without having to ask for it, she’s Octavia Spencer, for god’s sake! Jada speaks up on a lot of issues. Some of her comments are less popular than others, of course, but I admire that when she feels passionately about something, she talks about it. Jessica did not respond to these comments directly but she did retweet to one of Jada’s tweets after the video was posted:

Not only was Jada a judge and panelist, she was a supportive mom to her son Jaden’s Skate Kitchen, where she looked incredible in every way. I cannot get an ID on who made her t-shirt but I found this site that is selling them now. I may get one for everyone in my family.

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Photo credit: WENN Photos, Getty Images and Twitter

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29 Responses to “Jada Pinkett Smith praises Jessica Chastain for helping Octavia Spencer get paid”

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  1. Renee says:

    I give her credit for putting her money where her mouth is. Brava!

  2. notpretentious says:

    Those skinny leather capri pants are needed!!

  3. Jayna says:

    I thought Octavia said she got five times what she asked for,

    • Nicole says:

      She did!

    • Peeking in says:

      She did! I wish the article was about Octavia telling her story because I watched it and teared up for her.

    • Anna says:

      Hmmm…so why isn’t anyone (like Jada) setting the record straight on that? I hate misinformation and though I’m happy she’s speaking out, Jada telling Octavia’s story without the full facts that really show the level Octavia achieved feels a little strange…

  4. Catherine says:

    Jada can dance too. Did you see her in Girls Trip?? I love JPS!!

    • Margo S. says:

      I am going to watch girls trip tonight. I am kicking myself for not seeing it sooner.

      Props to Jada, Jessica and Octavia. They are all incredible inspirational women.

  5. Nicole says:

    Thank goodness Jessica is open and willing to learn and also put some action behind her words. When we talk about doing more than lip service this is it. Yes it was a risk but she did it.
    Stellar. I long for a day jessica wont have to stick her neck out so someone can get the equal pay they deserve

  6. MellyMel says:

    I need that shirt!

  7. Falum says:

    This shows that a lot of white people – or i guess i should say white women seeing as we all know men are paid more than us – were unaware of such pay disparity. We shouldn’t thoughtlessly accuse white people of closing their eyes to such matters because often times they do not know. Like who talks about money with their colleagues? I sure don’t. I think there are a lot of white women who would gladly stand behind their colleagues in such circumstances. They might not have Jessica Chastain’s clout ( and lets be fair, not every white woman can just demand this without putting her job at risk) but they would support wher they can.

    • Pandy says:

      Thank you for this. I’m fully aware that women are always the last at the table, but didn’t realize that we were slotted into different categories as women! Deliberate way to pit us against each other I think. Lots to learn.

    • Nanny to the Rescue says:

      Some contracts forbid you to talk about your paycheck. I don’t know how this is in Hollywood, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that was often the case. In a business where your money has to be negotiated every effing time, I can imagine producers would want to prevent people comparing their wages and figuring out they’re underpaid compared to their peers.

      • Boo says:

        It is illegal in the US to forbid someone from talking about pay. A lot of misinformation about that, and a lot of times people won’t talk because they are scared or it is taboo, but a company can’t stop you from talking about it.

    • eto says:

      I mean there’s tons of research on this and every time it’s brought up women make .80 cents for every dollar a white man makes, minorities talk about how it’s even lower for them. Honestly not to be rude, but maybe start listening?

  8. milla says:

    This is why women should always stick together. Warms my heart. And if only Jada left that church… she can be so pretty inside and out…

  9. booRadley says:

    Jessica is killing it for me lately, I’m so glad that she is actually walking the walk. that is what makes a movement, not just grandstanding, but following through, and being willing to walk away, and I bet she would have if she had to to make her point.
    she is winning, and so are all women, especially WOC and all under represented people in the industry, because by Jada praising Jessica, and outlets like CB and others picking up the story, she is essentially calling out all these sold called faces for the Time’s up movement to start putting your wallet to the test and walk that walk. LOVE IT!!!!
    also friggin love Jada’s outlift, I want it!!!

  10. phlyfiremama says:

    That tshirt ROCKS!!! I had some made tnat say “Silence is NOT an option”. Besides marching and showing UP for intersectional events, I have helped various political campaigns by volunteering and conducting phone banks, door to door walking to familiarize the public with various candidates, and will be aorking on the Beto O’Rourke campaign. Beto is going up against Ted Cruz~and he is within a single digit of defeating him!!!

  11. Lucy says:

    I know Jessica bugs here sometimes, but this is why I’m a fan of her. She talks the talk and walks the walk. I do agree that Octavia shouldn’t even need to ask for more money, though. To me, she’s at the exact same level as Meryl Streep, and has been for years now.

  12. Keaton says:

    I’ve always thought Jessica Chastain was totally sincere and I’m glad to see I was right. I love reading about women being proactive and women supporting one another. But wow I’m disgusted that Octavia Spencer was apparently so underpaid. I hope this encourages more women to not undersell themselves. Adopt the confidence of a mediocre white man lol.

  13. Cee says:

    Women, we should always stick together. It’s the only way forward.

    On a more superficial note – Does Jada age? She looks incredible every year that goes by.

  14. Kym says:

    Those “got consent” t-shirts and buttons were originally made for human subject research projects…meaning did u get consent before signing them up…great to see it has multiple uses!!

  15. Basi says:

    Jessica you were brilliant on SNL. I love you even more hearing this. You have integrity.

  16. Sid says:

    Unpopular opinion but I think Jessica Chastain wants to become some sort of headmaster of Hollywood. I’ve heard she’s a nice person but it’s like she’s appointed herself judge, jury and executioner of everything and everyone. What’s she’s doing is great and the right thing but on the other hand I feel like she would judge you and go against you if you go against her beliefs or she just doesn’t like you. I feel like she thinks she’s above everyone and she’s the only one with guys and integrity. Her comments of relationships were weird as well, as if she’s the only one who has it right. It

    Some things have made me feel she can be sly. It feels like in almost interview she is being underhanded or bitchy about someone in a very clever way. Her comments towards Meryl Streep, they way she has started to pose on red carpets with this mean girl look, she’s trying to come off as strong but it looks obnoxious. Her roles in movies seem to be the same character. I got annoyed a while ago when in every interview she would mention that she went to Juilliard and she gets very pretentious when it come to acting and film. I can imagine her being rude and dismissive to people like Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, etc because of the type of films they do. Non oscar vehicles and part of the film hierarchy.

    I know people here don’t like Jennifer Aniston so you’ll probably love that she doesn’t care for her but I saw this roundtable they did together and Jennifer was being nice to her and wanting to talk to her and she wasn’t giving any consideration or kindness. She was being patronising and downright ignoring her and most points.

    • teacakes says:

      ‘I think’, ‘I’ve heard’, ‘I can imagine’…. that’s a whole lot of supposition there and hardly any fact.

      And why am I not surprised that the one woman we know of who’s stood up for a costar on pay disparity is getting criticism along the lines of ‘she’s sly’, ‘snobby’ and ‘I think she might not be nice to mainstream Blondes [who get paid ten times more than she does]‘? And top it off with ‘she mentions her education at a top drama school’, what a snobby bitch, how dare she! /s

    • Jaded says:

      Baseless supposition from someone who doesn’t know her.

    • msd says:

      No, Sid. Women are joining forces, fighting back and not shutting up about it.

  17. Jayna says:

    An AARP interview was mentioned in the article, so I went and found it online. What a beautiful woman inside and out. I5 was such a great read, and I am so happy for all of Octavia’s success that came later in life. She has such a joy for life.

  18. Bug says:

    Jessica and Octavia are absolutely magical together in The Help. They are the reason I watch the movie repeatedly.