This Is How Much Jussie Smollett Was Earning from Empire at the Time of Alleged Attack
Despite the controversy surrounding Jussie Smollett at the moment, there’s no denying that the man is one talented actor. His performance on Empire has cemented his place as one of the greats in the industry.
But a few weeks ago not many people knew about Smollett. The actor started making rounds in the news after he allegedly became a victim to a hate crime where his attackers physically assaulted him and uttered racial and homophobic slurs. While the story initially turned Jussie into somewhat of a hero in the public eye, the narrative changed quickly after the Chicago PD accused him of perpetrating the crime with the help of his two friends and co-stars from Empire, who were the alleged attackers.
The police department cites the star’s dissatisfaction over his remuneration on the show as one of the motives behind the staged attack. According to sources close to the actor, Smollett used to make $65,000 per episode initially, but the paycheck came up to $125,000 in recent episodes.
Whether money is or isn’t an issue for the former Empire star, a dissatisfaction on a $125,000 paycheck per episode is fathomable when compared to what other actors appearing in successful TV shows are making.
A Million Dollars Per Week!
Take Elisabeth Moss, for example, a popular actress who rose to fame after starring in the hit show The West Wing. The actress racks up $1 million per episode from her role in the recent sensation The Handmaid’s Tale. Nicole Kidman’s Big Little Lies brings her the same amount per week. And what about Jim Parsons? You guessed it! $1 million per episode for playing Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory. Has it even been in doubt that once you make it big as an actor, you’re bound to bring in more dough?
Moving on to The Rock, the Ballers actor brings in $650,000 for each episode he stars in (which is all of them), in addition to the hefty sums he racks up from his exploits on films. Dwayne Johnson can seemingly do it all, having been a professional wrestler before venturing into acting. Remember his catchy phrase while at the WWE? It smells…
Successful actress Julia Roberts hasn’t hung up her boots yet, going strong in Homecoming, available on Amazon. Here, each episode adds $600,000 to her bank account. The cast of long-running series Grey’s Anatomy has also not been left behind. The show’s Ellen Pompeo smiles all the way to the bank with $575,000 after shooting each episode.
Let’s All Be Actors!
The First has been kind to its stars, with Sean Penn earning half a million dollars per episode. This is the same amount that Kit Harington takes home for efficiently portraying Jon Snow in the fan-favorite Game of Thrones. He must have quite the fortune by now, seeing as his wife was also starring on the show before Ygritte (her character) was killed off in spectacular Game of Thrones fashion.
John Goodman has every reason to enjoy starring in The Conners seeing as his exploits bring him $375,000 after each episode. Interestingly, child stars have not been left behind, with Millie Brown of stranger things representing her colleagues, racking up $350,000 each time an episode of the show airs. This is Us and Westworld also pay well, with actors Sterling Brown and Evan Wood from either show respectively each making $250,000 per episode.
As is evident, Smollett’s $125,000 is regrettably pale in comparison. When compared to other Empire stars, the actor’s salary still falls short. Taraji P. and Terence Howard reportedly make at least $225,000 per episode, being the shows highest earners.
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