By BRENT FURDYK
Salary disparity in Hollywood along racial and gender divides has been a hot-button issue in recent years, and former “MADtv” cast member Debra Wilson is the latest actor to come forward to share her personal story.
In an interview with “Comedy Hype News”, Wilson — who was one of the original cast members when “MADtv” debuted in 1995 — revealed that when she left the sketch-comedy series in 2003 it was because she’d caught wind that some white male actors who’d joined the cast after her were receiving higher salaries, despite the fact that she’d been there for eight seasons.
While Wilson did not reveal the exact pay gap between her and the other cast members’ salaries, she said her departure was less about “dollars and cents” and more about the principle of being the only original Black woman on the show since its television debut in 1993.
“What I wanted to do and what I wanted to create on that show did not hit a glass ceiling,” Wilson said. “But when I was told that ‘All the things you want to create and be on the show has a monetary value, and we don’t value it as much as the new people coming in,’ that’s when I left.”
Wilson was most recognized for her impersonations of Oprah Winfrey and Whitney Houston. She created many popular characters on “MADtv” such as the blaxploitation actress Cocoa Latette, Tovah McQueen and the fast-speaking Bunifa Latifah Halifah Sharifa Jackson.
More on ET CANADA