From today’s CNN News:
On Friday, the SAG-AFTRA, a union representing about 160,000 Hollywood actors, officially went on strike after failing to reach a deal with Hollywood’s biggest studios.
That means Hollywood actors and writers are on strike simultaneously for the first time in more than 60 years, bringing most film and television productions to a halt.
Among other demands, actors on strike are calling for increased pay and a rethinking of residuals, which union members say has significantly diminished amid the rise of streaming services. Residuals are financial compensation paid out to actors whenever TV shows or movies they’ve appeared in are replayed.
Here are some significant numbers:
The union’s 160,000 members join the 11,000 Writers Guild of America members who have been striking since May.
While many of the world’s highest-paid celebrities, including Meryl Streep and Matt Damon, have voiced their support for the strike, the concerns about higher pay and residuals affect thousands of actors who perform in hundreds of films and TV shows.
SAG-AFTRA’s president, Fran Drescher, pushed back on the notion that all actors are wealthy, saying that a vast majority “are just working people just trying to make a living just trying to pay their rent, just trying to put food on the table and get their kids off to school.”
“Everything that you watch, that you enjoy, that you’re entertained by are scenes filled with people that are not making the big money,” she added.
$27.73 per hour
That’s how much the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported as the average pay for California actors in 2022. However, the BLS noted in the data that actors aren’t paid full-time year-round due to the nature of the job.
Before the contract between actors and movie studios officially expired this week, SAG-AFTRA members had negotiated specific minimum rates for performers. For example, an actor who worked on a television show for one week was paid a minimum of $3,756.
However, Kellee Stewart, an actress who has performed for more than 20 years and has appeared on the television series “All American” and “Black-ish,” noted that performers traditionally don’t get to take home the number that appears as their rate.
Read the complete story here.