In business,  sometimes it’s every man (or woman) for themselves. It doesn’t have to be like that though. In fact, LeBron James and Octavia Spencer teamed up for a Netflix series about the life of African-American millionaire entrepreneur Madame C.J. Walker, and James helped Spencer negotiate her salary.

Spencer was recently interviewed on ESPN’s The Undefeated, and gave credit to James for his leadership, both in business and on the court. “When we were in negotiations (for the Netflix series), they had to…step up for me,” Spencer said. “He and Maverick (Carter, James’ business partner)…that type of leadership has been important, and I’m thrilled about it.”

Spencer shared a story that we can all relate to about how she’d ask for certain things in meetings and have them fall on deaf ears. Her request for fair compensation was only taken seriously when James and Carter step in and emphasize that “she deserves these things.”

“It’s sad that we have to do that, but they did, and that’s what I’m working with: People who have no problem standing up,” said Spencer.

A passion project to be proud of

“Every American should all know the story of Madam C.J. Walker,” said James, of the collaboration. “She was an innovator, entrepreneur, social activist and total game-changer whose story has been left out of the history books. I hope this project lives up to her legacy with a story that will educate and inspire.”

LeBron-James-and-Maverick-Carter
LeBron James and Maverick Carter

Carter felt the same in a 2018 interview with Variety: “For us, this is totally about great stories and great partners. Partnering with Octavia to tell the story of Madam C.J. Walker is the ideal first project for SpringHill to take an important step into scripted drama.”

According to Spencer the series is still in pre-production — but she’ll be compensated fairly thanks to the friendship and support she found in LeBron and Maverick.


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