Taraji P. Henson claims to have lost movie roles because she is black.

The 'Empire' actress has missed out on exciting parts because Hollywood bosses felt her race would be a turn-off for audiences.

Writing in her autobiography 'Around the Way Girl', she admitted: ''Time and again, I've lost roles because someone with the ability to green-light a film couldn't see black women beyond a very limited purview he or she thought 'fit' audience expectations.''

And she described how the role of a pregnant stripper in 'St. Vincent' was written with her in mind, but the part eventually went to Naomi Watts.

She wrote: ''It was a meaty gig. I would have loved it. Alas, I couldn't get served at that particular restaurant.''

The 46-year-old actress was nominated for an Oscar for her role in 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' but she was paid much less than co-stars Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, describing her comparative earnings as ''the equivalent of sofa change... the lowest of six figures.''

And Taraji even had to pay her own expenses while making the movie.

She wrote: ''Both Brad and Cate got millions. Me? With bated breath, I sat by the phone for hours, waiting for Vince (her manager) to call and tell me the number that I thought would make me feel good: somewhere in the mid six figures.

''No doubt a mere percentage of what Brad was bringing home to Angelina and their beautiful babies, but something worthy of a solid up-and-coming actress with a decent amount of critical acclaim for her work.

''Alas, that request was dead on arrival. 'I'm sorry, Taraji', Vince said quietly when we finally connected.

''They came in at the lowest of six figures. I convinced them to add in a little more, but that's as high as they'd go.

''There was one other thing: I'd have to agree to pay my own location fees while filming in New Orleans, meaning three months of hotel expenses would be coming directly out of my pocket. Insult, meet injury.''