Terry Crews Takes Swipe at Actors Who Accept Roles, Then ‘Complain’ About Low Pay

Terry Crews on Club Shay Shay (Credit: YouTube)

Terry Crews has a “problem” with actors who take on roles, then later go public with complaints about low pay.

Crews sat down on a recent episode of Shannon Sharpe’s “Club Shay Shay” podcast, and said he’s thankful for all of his jobs, including the ones that didn’t pay any money.

The conversation turned to pay in Hollywood after Sharpe asked about Terrence Howard, who in November told Memphis news station WREG a “horror” story about being underpaid.

“I made $12,000 for doing Hustle & Flow,” the actor said, and also alleged that he was tricked out of royalties for his Oscar-nominated performance in the film.

Related Story: Terry Crews Sparks Anger With Tweet About Race Relations and ‘Black Supremacy’

Crews questioned why actors sign contracts then later “complain” about low pay.

“First of all, and I understand what Terrence is saying, but I have never, ever, ever looked at whatever money I got as a horror story,” he said. “If I did it, I loved it. See, but this is the problem. There’s a saying I have to say: ‘You can’t nod yes and mean no.’ If I nod yes, I looked at the terms.”

He added, “My heart is always full of gratitude, because once I start to complain about any of that, it starts to mess with my legacy.”

Before becoming an actor and TV host, Crews played in the NFL.

Over the years, he’s had roles in Training Day (2001), Friday After Next (2002), Malibu’s Most Wanted (2003), White Chicks (2004), The Expendables franchise, the TV series Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and he currently hosts NBC’s America’s Got Talent.

Crews said he did Training Day for free and was paid only $4,000 for Friday After Next.

“I didn’t get [anything] for Training Day. How about that?” he said. “I didn’t get zero. But it changed my life forever. You wouldn’t know who I was if it wasn’t for a no-paying job. First of all, name somebody that played football for money when they start. You don’t get no money! You play football for free. You play basketball for free. Then you get all the way to the pros and you get the millions. Ain’t no other way, bruh. There’s nothing else. There’s no way to hop, skip, and jump this thing. But that’s the thing. People are trying to invent ways to get right to the money.”

Terrence Howard and his Empire co-star, Taraji P. Henson, have both been vocal about being “underpaid” in Hollywood.

Henson, who plays Shug Avery in The Color Purple remake, recently did an interview with Gayle King and broke down in tears over the way she’s been treated in Hollywood.

“I’m just tired of working so hard, being gracious at what I do, getting paid a fraction of the cost,” Henson said. “I’m tired of hearing my sisters say the same thing over and over. You get tired.”

Meanwhile in December 2023, Howard filed a lawsuit against his former agents at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), for alleged conflict of interest and for urging him to accept a salary much lower than “white actors that are comparable” in experience and accolades.

Howard admitted he might be blacklisted for taking on the powerful CAA, but said: “It’s time for change.”

Watch the interview with Terry Crews above, and Terrence Howard’s recent news conference below: