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Is The Big Bang Theory Cast Being Overpaid?


JeffWinger
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I think it is a perception thing. A lot of people I have talked to or talked to me haha, have said have you heard 1 million? To a lot of people that is a lot of money. But like I said it is all perception, people look at the acting industry, and entertainment industry and it looks so glamorous and I Think it can be. But you don't see all the work that goes into it, acting is their art. They don't do it to be famous, sure that's a perk, but they are not some prima donna spotlight hogger, going "Show me the money!". They work hard, when you think about the public pressure, their work schedules, the shooting, the promo work, tv interviews e.t.c. It is mentally and physically exhausting. You don't just wave your wand and wa la Big Bang is on tv, it may be 30 mins a week, but in reality it takes hours and hours to get to that final product. I think they deserve all that money, but I can see why others would think differently.

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I haven't gotten involved in contract discussions because it gives me a headache but to me people who say the actors are being overpaid don't really understand where that money comes from. These actors make the studio billions of dollars, that's how much money the studio execs rack up especially through advertising. Studios get fat on other people's creative talents (actors, writers and producers). If there is that much money in the pot, the actors are well within their right to demand their fair share, they're not meant to be trained monkeys that work to make other people rich. If they didn't demand that money it's not like it would go to charity or to poor people in need, it would sit in the bank accounts of the studio, who will keep making money off of them for years or even decades to come, or it simply wouldn't exist if the show tanked or everyone stopped watching.

 

eta: Looking now at how much Kunal and Simon managed to negotiate, I truly believe Mayim and Melissa made awful awful decisions in settling for the little peanuts they were offered last year. They should have gotten better lawyers and/or negotiated after the original five in order base their negotiations on those figures. The pay disparity up to this year was reasonable given seniority and everybody's role, but the gap now is just absurd. 

Edited by koops
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One thing I've seen, and this is an argument that came up in relation to some orchestral musicians negotiating with their management about pay, is the implication that people in the arts should do what they do for the love of their art, not for filthy lucre.

But no one asks physicians or lawyers to do their jobs for the love of serving humanity.  Even teachers, police officers and firefighters expect to get paid for the jobs they do.

 

Just because someone works in the arts doesn't mean that money is no factor.  And in the case of the orchestras I mentioned, people were trying to say that these very accomplished musicians in high profile orchestras were not "worth" the money they were negotiating for, and that any of them could be replaced by any other random musician.  But the truth is that these musicians are at the peak of their profession and their skill, talent, and experience are a unique combination that makes their orchestras among the best.  They do deserve to get paid their high salaries because they have reached that peak.  I don't earn what they do, but I'm not at the level they're at.

 

But as someone else said, love doesn't pay the bills.  And just because one is in the arts doesn't mean that an appropriate salary isn't deserved.  And in the heady world of hit TV, as koops said, there's a lot of money being made.  It's just as outrageous that Sandra Bullock earns several million dollars for each movie she makes.  She makes more money for one film than can really be grasped.  Most of us would be floored to win a $1mil lottery prize, let alone multiple millions.

So why isn't anyone griping at her, or scrutinizing her salary deals, or insisting that she should be making substantial donations to charities?

 

Like I've said earlier, if the contract signing hadn't dragged on so long, if they had signed back in May or June, even for the same deals, it would probably have barely been a blip.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My question is a General one asking the average Net earning after Taxes and Agent fees.

Agent fee's, publicist fees, make up, etc are all dependent on the contracts signed and are not normally public. The other problem is that it also depends on whether or not the individual is incorporated. As a corporation, the individual faces less taxes, on their earnings, along with less personal taxes as they can draw a salary from the corporation, and only pay personal taxes on the amount they draw out. It also depends on where the work is located. NY has an agent limit of 10%, California's is higher. Publicists fees will vary depending on what exactly the publicist is doing. Same with make up, hair, stylists, etc. There really is no such thing as an average, because there are so many variables as to how much they are paying out. Don't forget, taxes would be paid after all the other fees are taken out(along with travel, lodging etc, or travel, lodging, food, would have to be added to the income) and so there is no real way to determine an average.

 

As Public figures they give up any right to total privacy.

Actually, you'll have to define total privacy. Legally, that is not true. There are limits as to what can be found out and published. And, even taking those limits into consideration, that doesn't mean things are known. After all, what exactly Jim, Johnny, Kaley, Kunnal, and Simon signed for back when they renegotiated their original contract is still not known for certain. There is a lot of speculation.

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I think that Jim should be paid more than the other characters. Compared to Johnny and Kaley, Jim is the main character, also if i love Johnny.

Watching their salary, i could say is too much money, but the actor's skills have made the fortune of the series, so they earned all these money.

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I think that Jim should be paid more than the other characters. Compared to Johnny and Kaley, Jim is the main character, also if i love Johnny.

Watching their salary, i could say is too much money, but the actor's skills have made the fortune of the series, so they earned all these money.

Screen time wise, Jim is not the main character, there isn't one main character. You're also missing that Johnny has first screen credit. Kaley, Jim, and Johnny all have been treated as one unit in all negotiations, so I'm not quite sure why you think Jim should be paid more, other than personal preference.

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i already know that they negotiated together, but i explain why Jim should be paid more than Kaley and Johnny.

Season by season TBBT has became more about Jim than Lenny. Fans love more Sheldon, and the Shamy.

Jim with his acting skills, has made the success of the show. Naturally also Johnny and Kaley, have some credit.

Personally i love Johnny. In my way to see, Sheldon is the main character.

Can you imagine a episode without Sheldon??

 

Apologize me for my english, it's not so good, i'm an Italian.

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Well, since the people actually producing the show think that Jim, Johnny and Kaley should be paid the same, I'd say they deserve the same.

I happen to think, as an ensemble, they should all be getting the same pay. But, that's just me, looking at it as an ensemble.

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 Like others have said I don't think the actors a being overpaid, given the industry they're in and the money they bring in to their business, but compared to the rest of the world, I think they are. It still saddens me that money in general is distributed so unfairly. The actors worked hard to get where they are, so they deserve a lot of money, but so do those who work non-stop in healthcare, community and other work for the benefit of humanity, yet they're often paid peanuts. I wish there wasn't so much money being thrown around up there in the entertainment industry, and more was being given to those equally as deserving. But that's wishful thinking, would be near impossible to achieve, and another topic entirely. And I'm just being a grumpy old (18 year old) fart .It's definitely not their fault. They work hella hard and have to put up with a lot of crap from others. I know in their position I'd be absolutely delighted, and I'd definitely want a good share!! So yeah, it's all relative I guess.

 

To sum up, solely focussing on the industry, I don't think they're being overpaid :)

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