Gabrielle Union on Speaking Out, How Companies Can Step Up and Who Inspires Her to ‘Bust Ass’

The actress, producer and advocate is one of Adweek's 2020 Women Trailblazers

Gabrielle Union
In 2018, Union launched her production company, I’ll Have Another, which is focused on telling the stories of marginalized communities. Thomas Whiteside / Trunk Archive

In the early 1990s, Gabrielle Union was paying her way through college and studying for the LSATs when an internship at a Los Angeles modeling agency led to the opportunity to make $120 a day to be the “Black girl” in teen magazines. She said yes—after all, it beat her $7-an-hour gig at a local bookstore. And that decision changed her life forever. Union went on to star in sitcoms like Moesha as well as three of the highest-grossing teen movies of all time, including 2000’s Bring It On.

This story first appeared in the July 13, 2020, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.
@heidefaith Heide is the senior director of brand community at Adweek and Editor of the Inside the Brand series, including the CMO Moves and Gen ZEOs podcasts, Innovators, Challengers, and Women Trailblazers. She also leads Adweek's Innovators Council.