From Michael B. Jordan to Idris Elba, there are countless Black leading men in Hollywood. They’ve starred in everything from our favorite dramas and heist films to romance films and comedies. Yet, though streaming platforms and studios’ renewed interest in “diversity” has open the doors for more opportunities, Black actors still aren’t getting their due in Hollywood.
In Aug. 2020, Forbes released their annual list of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood, and only three Black men found their way on the list. Forbes based their estimates on paychecks between June 1, 2019, and June 1, 2020.
Holding on to the number spot, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson pulled in $87.5 million. From his massive endorsement deals with Under Armour and his upcoming turn in the DC Extended Universe, as well as the countless other projects the former wrestler has done in recent years, it’s clear he had no trouble snagging in a paycheck.
According to Forbes, for his forthcoming Netflix film Red Notice where he will star opposite Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds, Johnson earned a paycheck of $23.5 million.
Occupying the fifth space on the Forbes list is Johnson’s Fast & Furious co-star Vin Diesel who identifies as mixed-race. According to Forbes, Diesel earned $54 million in 2020 for his long-held car franchise role. He also made a hefty check for producing the upcoming Netflix TV show, Fast & Furious Spy Racers.
Finally, the last Black man to occupy the Forbes list at number eight is Will Smith. Though The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum didn’t have a studio project this year, he earned $44.5 million for his past and upcoming projects as well as his Snapchat series.