Terrence Howard is a well-known Hollywood actor best remembered for his part in “Hustle & Flow.” The film, which definitely catapulted him to fame, starred him as Dejay, a Memphis, Tennessee, street hustler who hoped to transform his life through rap.
In the film, he co-starred with Taraji P. Henson, Ludacris, and Anthony Anderson, among others. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film was a huge success. According to reports, the film grossed more than $75 million.
Despite the film’s success, Howard walked away with a pittance. He disclosed to WREG News 3 in Memphis that he was only paid $12,000 and that he has yet to collect royalties from the songs he performed.
He also stated that he was considering suing Paramount to recover the checks he had owned for the past two decades.
“I made $12,000 for doing ‘Hustle & Flow.’ And then on top of it, what Paramount did, instead of putting my name as ‘Terrence Howard’ performing the songs. They put ‘performed by Dejay,’” Howard explained to WREG’s Alex Coleman. “Well they owned Dejay. So guess what? The performance royalties went to Paramount.”
“Terrance Howard made $12,000. That’s all I ever made from Hustle and Flow,” he further stated. “Everything else went right back into Paramount. So now I gotta sue Paramount or send them a letter. I gotta send them a letter to say, ‘Hey, you guys owe me about 20 years worth of residuals and performance royalties.’ But I didn’t know. I was just trying to pay my rent then.”
Meanwhile, Howard received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor for his work in Hustle & Flow in 2006. According to Complex, Three 6 Mafia won Best Original Song for their Taraji P. Henson-assisted film and soundtrack contribution “Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” as well as Best Original Song for their Taraji P. Henson-assisted film and soundtrack contribution “Hard Out Here for a Pimp.”
He also mentioned his goal to eliminate intermediaries such as agents, managers, and unions, whom he says have failed to appropriately assist actors. He chastised unions, particularly the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), for doing little to support actors despite claiming to be advocates for their rights.