Empire star and TIME 100 honoree Taraji P. Henson shared some powerful words of advice for women at the 2016 Women In Film Crystal + Lucy Awards in Los Angeles on Wednesday, where she received the Lucy Award for Television.
As People reported, Henson emphasized the importance of empowering women and ensuring they know their worth. She said, “You know, know you have a voice. Know that your voice is important, and fight until it’s heard. That’s what I did.”
She singled out her critics with, “‘You will not tell me that I’m not important. You will not tell me.’ So that’s how I build a career. I watched a lot of people eat crow.”
Henson also focused on support and camaraderie with fellow female actresses: “If we don’t support each other, who will? We have a bad rap sometimes in this industry – diva, difficult, catty. When all we’re doing is, in those moments when you call us being difficult, we’re fighting for what we deserve.”
Numerous celebrities have spoken out against Hollywood’s gender, diversity, and pay-gap controversies, including Henson: “If I do a job just as well as a man, people tune in every week, they see me, they root for me just like they root for him. Why should my pay be less than his?”