Women's History Month: Tracee Ellis Ross

This month we take a look at some of the strong women in the world of entertainment.

By: Pari Heidari, 'Larry King Now’

After what has been a long and harsh winter, we have finally made it to March. It seems spring is just around the corner. And with the welcomed greetings of March also comes Women’s History Month. With that being the focus of the month, we thought we’d look back at some of Larry’s interviews with those who are currently paving the way for women in entertainment. 

In December last year, Larry sat down with ‘Black-ish’ star Tracee Ellis Ross - daughter of legendary singer and actress Diana Ross to discuss a range of topics, from the Hollywood pay gap and the Black Lives Matter movement to feminism and, of course, her relationship to her mother.

Ellis Ross explains that she realized very early on that her relationship to her mother had it’s perks, but that she didn’t feel she deserved it. "I can articulate it in hindsight, obviously I didn't know this as a child, but, I realized that a lot of people loved me just because I was part of, or standing next to, someone that they loved. Just out of the spill of her glitter. It made me uncomfortable, because I felt like I didn't deserve that because I didn't do anything.”

She adds that this drove her towards a journey of self-discovery and a desire of achieving a sense of self, untethered from her mother’s talent and fame. “That compelled me to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do to get and be worthy of that attention,” she continues.

Tracee Ellis Ross made a big name for herself on the show ‘Girlfriends,’ where she played the main protagonist, ‘Joan Carol Clayton,’ and for which she won two NAACP image Awards. Now, the actress plays the female lead role of Dr. Rainbow Johnson opposite Anthony Anderson on ABC’s comedy series, ‘Black-ish.’ The role has afforded her 2 more NAACP Image Awards, a Critics Choice Award as well as Primetime Emmy Award Nominations.

On 'Black-ish' she plays - for the first time - the role of a mother. Ellis Ross says the way she tackles and portrays the character is very serious to her: ”It is very important to me that my role and that being the wife on the show is not portrayed in a paper thin way and that she does represent what is happening out in the world in a way that feels real and true and authentic.” 

When asked about the pay gap in Hollywood, she rightly points out that while there is indeed a pay gap, it is sadly not constrained to Hollywood. "There's a pay gap. Not just in Hollywood, but across this country and this world, and I am grateful that the Hollywood actress scenario draws attention to a larger problem, but it is not just in the Hollywood community,” she says.

See what else the actress had to say on matters such as feminism, motherhood and Gloria Steinem, when she appeared on ‘Larry King Now.’

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