TV series with LGBTQIA representation are heavily impacted by unfair pay
BY KRYSTA MCKENZIE, IMAGE BY NETFLIX
On 14 July, actors that are a part of the Screen Actors Guild — American Federation Of Television And Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) went on strike in a fight for better pay (amongst other things). There has been a wide misconception that actors in films and TV shows are all well-paid, but lately, individuals have been coming forward and openly sharing their income. Many actors have explained how they end up living paycheck to paycheck. They get paid per episode, and after tax, a percentage of their pay goes to their managers, agents, lawyers and/or publicists.
The threshold for SAG-AFTRA union members to qualify for health insurance is $26,000, and according to a SAG-AFTRA board member, only 12.7% of union members qualify.
When you think about the cancel your gays trend that is prevalent in TV series, it becomes clear what a negative impact unfair pay has on LGBTQIA actors. For each queer show that is cancelled after one or two short seasons, there are queer actors who are losing an income — which is little enough as it is. It’s especially concerning as shows like Grease and Genera+ion are now being removed from streaming platforms following cancellations.
Here are some of the LGBTQIA actors that have spoken out in solidarity with the SAG-AFTRA strikes…
Lea explains how she, and the other cast members of Orange Is The New Black, came to realise that they were not being paid fairly.
I haven’t acted much as an adult, but I WAS on a recurring character on one of the most critically acclaimed animated shows of all time, as well playing an actual Disney villain.— Mara Wilson (@MaraWilson) July 13, 2023
But thanks to streaming, I have never once made enough to qualify for SAG-AFTRA healthcare.
Jasmin Savoy Brown
Alongside sharing daily posts about standing strong with SAG-AFTRA, Jasmin has been posting about the strike on her Instagram stories.
We hope that a fair deal can be made for all the actors who are striking.
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