Terrence Howard Details Why He's Suing CAA

The Oscar-nominated actor claims he was underpaid during his tenure on Fox's "Empire."

Terrence Howard claims that he was unfairly compensated as a cast member of Fox’s “Empire”, and is suing his former agency, CAA, for allegedly lowballing him while his white contemporaries signed lucrative TV deals.

In December, Howard filed the suit saying that he “trusted CAA to look after [him], and they looked after themselves” and that he “never received the compensation as a producer or any of those things that are immediately given or asked for by agents of white actors."

During a sit down with Straighttalkphanee, while on the set of his late film, Howard gave some insight into why he filed the lawsuit.

“Creative Artists Agency, they represented me and they also represented some of the people from Big Bang Theory who also did the deal with Fox… We had 28 million viewers and they had 11 million viewers. they were getting $2 Million, damn near $3 Million an episode,” Howard said. “Those white kids had no name recognition, no Oscar nominations, or none of that. But we had 28 million viewers and these jokers are paying me $325,000 an episode.”

“I'm asking my agents, “What's going on? I didn't know that [in] the packaging deal my agents were incentivized to keep my pay low. So they'll go to Fox and say no (to get more money) because they were producers,” he added.” They owe me over $120 Million based on what would have been paid to [my] white counterparts. So now I'm in the process of suing them about it.”

“When I asked them about my money, they sent me a check for $666 not saying where it's from. So I was like, Oh, you're trying to threaten me? This is a threat,” he continued.  “Y'all think I'm scared and going to be quiet about this. Because I wonder what you're doing to every other Black artist."

Terrence Howard Claims Racist Bias and Underpayment in Lawsuit Against Former Agency

In addition to his lawsuit against CAA, Howard is also facing a tax debt of almost $1 Million accumulated between 2010 and 2019.

Howard denied owing taxes in an alleged voicemail that he left for Justice Department lawyer Maria Elizabeth Ruwe.

“Four hundred years of forced labor and never receiving any compensation for it,” Howard said in the voicemail. “Now you have the gall to try and prosecute and charge taxes to the descendants of a broken people that you are responsible for causing the breakage.”

“In truth, the entire United States should, by default, become the property of the descendants of slaves,” he continued. “But since you do not have the ability [or] the courage to do it, let’s try this in court. … We’re gonna bring you down.”

According to Ruwe, the alleged threats from Howard led the department to open an investigation. 

The results of that investigation are unknown.

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking Subscribe, you confirm that you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. You also agree to receive marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers) and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. You understand that you can unsubscribe at any time.