The "Black-ish" actress revealed she was quick to shut down her character Rainbow Johnson always doing what she jokingly calls "lady chores" in the early days of the ABC sitcom.
"What I did speak up about from the beginning was, 'Why am I carrying laundry?' 'Why am I the person in the kitchen cooking right now, when this has nothing to do with the scene?'" she explained in an interview with the Los Angeles Times' Can't Stop Watching podcast this week.
"Even sometimes when it does have something to do with the scene," she added. "I started coining them as 'lady chores' ... Why am I doing the lady chores?' 'Can't Anthony (Anderson) do the lady chore?' Because I don't believe they're 'lady chores.' I believe they're house chores."
She said she addressed the issue in the hopes of making the show echo her reality and normalize a more equal family dynamic across gender.
"I don't believe that we should assume, because I believe every relationship is a negotiation between two people about what each of them feel comfortable doing," she said, "and I think the more that we portray that on television, the more that that becomes the reality out in the world, or matches the reality that the world actually is."
Adding that there's nothing wrong with seeing a woman cooking, she said she wanted to "look at the larger perspective of the story that is being told across television in general," asking, "How can we continue to balance the scale of what has been out of balance?"
Ross said being vocal isn't anything new to her in her career, as she's "always been that person" to speak up.
"Even before I was an actress, when I was working in fashion as a fashion editor and working in the magazine and editorial world, I was the same person. I speak up," she said. Ross also said she often asks herself, "Is it effective for me to speak up now? Is this really the time? Is this the battle to push?"
Ross' performance as Rainbow has been nominated for three Emmy Awards for Best Actress in a Comedy Series since the show's first season -- and picked up her fourth nomination for the 2020 event.
"Black-ish" is up for four categories total at this year's ceremony, which goes down September 20, 2020.