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Orange Is The New Black Cast Call Out Netflix Over Crazy & Unjust Compensation For Series Megahit

Former actors from the hit series Orange Is The New Black is calling out Netflix for making a killing off the series, but the actors continue to struggle to make ends meet.

via Complex:

As the show celebrates its 10-year anniversary on Thursday, 10 recurring cast members spoke with The New Yorker about how much they were paid for their roles. They described getting the “absolute bare minimum” Screen Actors Guild day rate, which was less than $1,000 per episode when Orange got started in 2013.

The group of actors includes Kimiko Glenn, Taryn Manning, Alysia Reiner, Beth Dover, Emma Myles, Diane Guerrero, and Lea DeLaria, a number of whom started in the supporting cast and moved to regulars.

Among the other items discussed in the piece are the wage gap between minority and non-minority cast members, and the fact that some had to keep their 9-to-5 jobs while they shot Orange Is the New Black. Dover said, “It actually cost me money to be in Season 3 and 4 since I was cast local hire and had to fly myself out.”

Many in the cast also haven’t received much in terms of residuals from streaming.

“The first thing we say to each other when we see each other, is, like, ‘Yeah, it’s really fucked up—all my residuals are gone!’” Myles said. “When you’re a kid, you have this idea: once I’m on something that people actually see, I’ll be rich, and I’ll have a house that has a bathtub. And you look around after being on a hit show, and you’re, like, Wow, I’m still in the same one-bedroom apartment. Was this how it was supposed to be?”

Based on Piper Kerman’s memoir of the same name, Orange Is the New Black was Netflix’s third original series ever, debuting in the then-unique binge format five months after House of Cards.It became the streamer’s most-watched original show for a period and won four Emmys over seven seasons, wrapping in 2019.

Over the course of time, series regulars were paid up to $200,000 for each episode, and supporting cast members made a maximum of $15,000.

The day after the final season’s première party, writer and EP Tara Herrmann said, “Jenji (show co-creator Kohan) and I were brought to a conference room, and they finally shared the numbers with us: a hundred million users had seen at least one episode, and I want to say at least half had completed all six seasons. From an artistic standpoint, those numbers are breathtaking. And, from a business perspective, absolutely staggering. After revealing the numbers, the executive asked us, ‘How does hearing this make you feel?’ Jenji was silent and looks to me, and I said, ‘Like I want to renegotiate my contract.’ ”

You can read the New Yorker article in full here

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