Friday, August 8, 2014
Almost every television season there is a story of an actor or actress negotiating with a network over a salary. Sometimes, as with Larry Hagman, the casts of Friends and Everybody Loves Raymond, playing hard ball as a show is about to go into production has worked. I get and understand if a product, in this case a television show, makes a certain amount of money, the actors involved should be rewarded for their participation in the show's success. That being said, what makes actors any more important than all the other creative people involved with the show? I guess that is us. We care if an actor leaves a show, most of us would not care, or notice if a producer, director, writer or creator were turfed to the side.
I find the salaries recently negotiated for the cast of The Big Bang Theory obscene. I know percentage wise, they may be technically fair, but particular skill or talent do Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, and Kaley Cuoco have to warrant making ninety million dollars over three years? What is so special about Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg have to warrant seventy? I get it is show business and multi-million dollar salaries for actors and athletes have been the norm for decades. For some reason reading about this particular group of actors bugged me more than most. Big Bang is a funny show, but regardless of how much money the show makes, measuring each of the actors time commitment and work input, with their financial output doesn't in any way balance out. Sort of sucks the enjoyment out of watching the twenty two minutes those billions created.