Kerry Washington is a captivating star who’s appeared in films like 2004’s Ray and 2012’s Django Unchained, as well as the 2020 Hulu miniseries Little Fires Everywhere. However, she’s perhaps best known for playing the super-savvy, always-intriguing crisis management expert Olivia Pope on ABC’s Scandal from 2012 to 2018.
Thanks to Washington’s stellar performance on the thrilling political drama, she found herself considered for a fair share of industry honors, including two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress as well as a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama. Beyond that, she made multiple appearances on Forbes’ lists of the highest-paid TV actresses, including her #6 spot in 2016 which she earned thanks to the $13.5 million she took in over the span of a single year.
With her spot on Forbes‘ 2016 list, Washington was in the elite, money-making ranks alongside other A-list television stars like Mariska Hargitay and Ellen Pompeo (tied at #4 with $14.5 million each), Mindy Kaling (#3 at $15 million), Kaley Cuoco (#2 at $24.5 million), and at the top of the list: Sofia Vergara (with a staggering $43 million).
So if Washington was making so much money while on Scandal, how much is she worth these days?
Kerry Washington's 'Scandal' salary wasn't her biggest paycheck
As Scandal solidified itself as one of the most popular shows on TV during its run and Kerry Washington proved that she has exactly what it takes to lead a hit series, her salary continued to increase … like, a lot! During the show’s first few seasons, Washington was paid $80,000 per episode, which worked out to around $1.5 million per year, according to Celebrity Net Worth. That number eventually went up to a whopping $250,000 per episode, which made her around $4.5 million each year.
On top of that, Forbes notes that she “used her high profile to score endorsement deals with Neutrogena, Movado, and Apple Music,” which is why Celebrity Net Worth notes that she brought in around “$13 million in 2016, $11 million in 2017, and $12 million in 2018; a total of $36 million in just those three years alone.”
And Washington certainly wasn’t done signing big deals following Scandal. Celebrity Net Worth also reports that for Little Fires Everywhere, the star “joined the exclusive club of actors who have earned over $1 million for a single episode” thanks to the fact that she was reportedly paid “$1.1 million per episode in the first season.” Considering the fact that there were eight episodes, doing the math, Washington took home almost $9 million for a single season. Um, wow!
That earning power is surely why she’s now worth $50 million. Olivia Pope would surely be impressed.
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