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Disney Actors Take to Twitter to Share Their Residual Stories And It’s Horrifying

Meredith Stiehm, left, president of Writers Guild of America West, and Fran Drescher, president of SAG-AFTRA
Credit: Herman de Keyperling, Flickr

There’s this belief that once someone appears on television or in movies they are fabulously wealthy. If people recognize you when you go to the store, there must be money behind that fame. Right? As we are learning from the SAG-AFTRA strike, the reality for many actors on television and in movies is much more complicated, as the vast majority are just scrapping by.

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The Actors’ union joined the Writers Guild of America on strike. Both unions are seeking higher wages for their union members and higher residuals from streaming services. They are also trying to keep artificial intelligence from replacing writers and eventually, actors.

Prior to the advent of streaming, writers and actors would receive money every time their shows aired on network television. But since streaming, those residuals have dropped dramatically, while profits from the shows are risen for the companies that own the streaming services.

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger has said that the strike is “unfortunate” and called their demands “unrealistic.” Iger has been blasted for his comments, making them while attending an exclusive retreat for billionaires in Sun Valley, Idaho. SAG President Fran Drescher called his comments “repugnant.” 

Since the strike for actors started on July 14, many of them have taken to Twitter to share the stories of receiving a penny as compensation for three months worth of residuals. Some actors have even reported receiving negative residuals, which seems impossible, but money was deducted from their overall pay.

Actress Jana Schmieding, who plays Bev on the Hulu series Reservation Dogs, took to Twitter to show her quarterly residuals of three cents from Disney. Actor William Stanford Davis, who is on the ABC series Abbott Elementary, show off his check, which was also for three cents from Disney. He has been a working actor for the past 32 years.

Many of these Hollywood actors are not household names, but they help create the shows that we love and have been Screen Actors Guild members for decades.

The big stars are going to make their money, but this strike is about the working actors who need the job to survive. And making three cents a quarter isn’t enough for anyone to survive.

So far, neither the Screen Actors Guild nor the Hollywood Studios have blinked. We will continued to update this story at Disney Fanatic.

About Rick

Rick is an avid Disney fan. He first went to Disney World in 1986 with his parents and has been hooked ever since. Rick is married to another Disney fan and is in the process of turning his two children into fans as well. When he is not creating new Disney adventures, he loves to watch the New York Yankees and hang out with his dog, Buster. In the fall, you will catch him cheering for his beloved NY Giants.

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