Leave it up to a star from “Abbott Elementary” to educate us on why many Hollywood actors are currently on strike.
Actor William Stanford Davis, best known for his portrayal of Mr. Johnson on Quinta Brunson’s award-winning comedy series, is the latest actor to share the small residual checks he receives despite his more than three decades as a member of SAG-AFTRA.
In a transparent Instagram post, the 71-year-old television star showed off two paychecks he received for just three and five cents as examples of why he and many other SAG members are striking.
“What are we supposed to do with that? I stand strong with our union as we fight for what’s ours and for the success of the future generations.”
“I’ve been a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild for 32 years, and for those 32 years, my wages haven’t increased at all,” Davis says in the video.
“I want to give you an example of what a residual check looks like. I showed this to my brother and he fell over laughing… it ain’t f**king funny.”
Placing the check close to the camera, Davis reveals the three cents he received for his work in an undisclosed show.
“That’s a residual check. I’m not going to say who produced it, because I can’t tell you who these cheap motherf***ers are,” he quipped. “But anyway, I’m standing in solidarity with the writers, and we’re going to be on strike until we get what we need to make a living.”
The “Abbott” series regular then held up a separate check totaling five cents to further drive home his point.
“You see that? Can you believe that? That’s [five] cents,” Davis continued. “The postage, the paper, everything costs more than that.”
“That’s what they think of us as actors. This is why we’re on strike for better wages, for better residuals [and] for a piece of the subscription and to not give in to AI.”
Davis follows “This Is Us” star Mandy Moore who shared a video message last week revealing the “very tiny amounts” she’s received for her work in the amount of “81 cents,” as noted by Deadline. Stars from other award-winning shows like “Orange Is The New Black” have also revealed the day jobs they had to keep while appearing on the Netflix hit.
Actors have taken to the picket lines to join with members of the Writers Guild who have been on strike since April. Actors and writers are striking against major streaming providers for reasons including increased pay and better residuals, which union members have decreased significantly amid the rise of streaming services.
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Source: Black Enterprise