Netflix SAG-AFTRA strikes

‘We deserve our residuals’: Netflix stars speak out on why they’re striking with SAG-AFTRA

‘We were famous as sh*t, but had to keep our second jobs’

Hollywood actors and writers have joined forces and have made the decision to strike together in a historic move for the first time in 63 years.

The SAG-AFTRA strike has brought productions to a halt as performers fight for higher pay amid inflation and actors are asking studios to tighten regulation on the use of AI in creative projects.

Since the actors went on strike, you will have likely heard the word residuals being thrown around an awful lot. Residuals are payments that a performer gets when a movie or TV episode they star in re-airs and with the rise of streaming services like Netflix and Disney+, actors are not paid for each time an episode or movie they appear in is viewed.

Those in the TV shows or movies are instead paid a smaller amount, even if they were a series regular on a popular show. Netflix stars such as Kimiko Glenn and Richa Moorjani have spoken out about the strikes, sharing their reasons for joining the SAG-AFTRA picket lines. Here’s what they’ve had to say.

Kimiko Glenn

Kimiko Glenn made headlines when she revealed the residuals she had made from appearing on Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black. Kimiko appeared in 44 episodes as Brook Soso and has floored fans with revealing how little she has earned.

Panning down the list of episodes she was in, Kimiko sarcastically says: “I’m going to be so rich!” This is before she shows the whopping $27.30 she had earned. Some of the episodes she earned just one penny in residuals, thus show “why SAG-AFTRA is striking”.

In response to those who argued that actors were paid upfront, Kimiko said: “Whether or not we got paid up front… my tits live on in perpetuity. I deserve to get paid for as many f**king streams as that sh*t gets.”

“Second of all, we did not get paid very well. Ever. And when I say did not get paid very well, you would die. People were bartenders still. People had their second jobs still. They were f**king famous as shit, like internationally famous. Couldn’t go outside but had to keep their second jobs.”

Ramona Young

Ramona Young, who appeared as Eleanor Wong on the Netflix series Have I Ever, joined the SAG-AFTRA strikes and revealed she she was on strike.

“We’re fighting for better minimum wage, the rights of actors,” she told Character Media. “There are so many actors who can’t afford healthcare and they deserve it you know? We are the meat and bones, including the writers, of the industry that we’re in.”

Lee Rodriguez

Lee Rodriguez played Fabiola Torres in Never Have I Ever on Netflix and was alongside her co-stars Ramona Young and Richa Moorjani as she explained why she joined the SAG-AFTRA strikes.

“It’s getting hard to be able to afford to continue to be able to do acting and it’s not fair because what we do is very important,” she began. “We deserve to be paid fairly and we deserve our residuals. So many people in this industry, you’d be so surprised how little actors make.”

Richa Moorjani

Richa Moorjani starred as Kamala in all four seasons of Never Have I Ever on Netflix and also revealed why she was on strike. “The whole industry has obviously changed with streaming and the contracts that we have in place do not reflect the times that we’re living in right now,” she explained.

“It is near impossible unless you are a series regular, and even if you are a series regular, to make a living as an actor these days. I wouldn’t want to live in a world without actors, writers and storytellers. I don’t know about you.”

Young Mazino

Young Mazino was a breakout star in Netflix’s Beef which debuted on the streaming site earlier this year. He is also striking with a number of other actors and writers, and shared his thoughts as to why he is marching in the SAG-AFTRA strike.

Speaking to Character Media, Young said: “People want more films and you want more art and you want art to stay alive then you’ve got to stand with us. I joined SAG in 2018 and when I was struggling in New York I lived off of residuals and sometimes I get a cheque for like a dollar and 50 scents and I would cash that.

“The fact that streamers don’t have residuals is crazy because that’s how a lot of actors are making a living. So there has to be some kind of compensation. There has to be some kind of course correction because the model is unsustainable as it is and this is a symptom of a greater problem.”

“These are living breathing human people,” he continued. “I know people have seen people on strike but this is like people with families  and also if there are no actors or no writers, there would be no film and I wouldn’t have a dream to pursue.”

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Featured image credit via Instagram @kimikoglenn and @ramonabishyoung.