Hollywood's wealth disparity by the numbers

The leisure business is at a watershed second, with Hollywood at a standstill as a result of ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. The unions characterize Hollywood screenwriters and on-camera expertise, respectively, and whereas the calls for of every aren’t the identical, a rising wage disparity within the business is a big sticking level for each. 

Each the WGA and SAG-AFTRA went on strike after negotiations broke down with the AMPTP, the union representing the main Hollywood studios and streamers. The WGA stated that the unwillingness of AMPTP to barter “closed the door on their labor power and opened the door to writing as a wholly freelance career.” SAG-AFTRA’s management stated that actor compensation “has been severely eroded by the rise of the streaming ecosystem.”

The strikes come at a time when “a number of main firms in Hollywood…touted main income and a surge in subscribers to their streaming companies,” HuffPost reported, and studio heads proceed to see rising salaries. However simply how massive is the hole?

What do Hollywood’s highest-paid studio executives make?

Disney CEO Bob Iger made headlines after saying the calls for of the strike had been “unrealistic,” leading to vital backlash. In 2022, his contract gave him the opportunity of incomes as much as $27 million with bonuses, in accordance with an SEC disclosure. Whereas this makes him one of many highest-paid Hollywood executives, Iger seems primed to make much more: He re-upped with Disney earlier this month, and will make “$31 million yearly below the brand new phrases, relying on his efficiency and the corporate’s inventory worth,” the Observer reported. 

One other massive studio, Common Footage, is a subsidiary of Comcast, whose CEO, Brian Roberts, had “compensation value $32.06 million,” per The Hollywood Reporter. Then there’s Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who has equally stirred controversy over his alleged misgivings in regards to the strike. Zaslav was paid $39 million in 2022, Selection reported. 

In all, “Pay for Hollywood’s high executives soared throughout the top of the pandemic, climbing to $1.43 billion in 2021,” the Los Angeles Occasions reported. Within the final 5 years, Iger made a complete of $195 million, Roberts made $170 million, and Zaslav made practically $500 million, the Occasions added. 

How a lot does the business make? 

Whereas movie and tv are nonetheless recovering from the results of the Covid-19 pandemic, nearly all of business gamers are nonetheless bringing in billions of {dollars}. The most important of those was truly a streaming service — Netflix, which noticed revenues of $31.6 billion in 2022, in accordance with The Hollywood Reporter. Nevertheless, in contrast to conventional studios, Netflix “is all about subscriber income, making comparisons with studios tough.”

This isn’t to say that the normal studios aren’t additionally doing effectively; Common, the oldest of Hollywood’s “Large 5” film homes, noticed revenues of $11.6 billion, The Hollywood Reporter stated. Zaslav’s Warner Bros. additionally noticed reported revenues of $13.8 billion. The smallest income from a serious studio in 2022 belonged to Paramount, which introduced in $3.7 billion. Regardless of this, although, Paramount truly had “the largest year-to-year share change in revenue,” principally as a result of huge success of “High Gun: Maverick” bringing in $1.5 billion on the world field workplace. 

So even with the panorama of Hollywood altering by way of streaming, “There’s nonetheless massive bucks to be made in making films,” The Actual Deal reported, noting that “[new] film studios are going up like wildflowers.”

What do writers and actors make?

The vast majority of screenwriters and actors aren’t wealthy, and “87% do not even qualify for healthcare below the contract that simply expired,” the partisan Extra Good Union tweeted

Author salaries are reportedly shrinking, and “within the 2013-14 season, 33% of all TV sequence writers had been paid minimal; now half are working at minimal,” the WGA reported. Whereas actual pay is determined by expertise, the typical yearly wage for a screenwriter is $51,544, in accordance with ZipRecruiter, although some engaged on headlining exhibits could make six figures. That is nonetheless considerably lower than the studio executives, although, as David Zaslav’s wage is “384 occasions the typical pay of a Hollywood author,” CNBC reported. 

The common gig actor in Hollywood makes $27,465 per yr, ZipRecruiter reported, with the excessive finish of the pay scale marked at $40,766. This job additionally is determined by many variables, and U.S. Information & World Report places the median pay nearer to $47,000. Like screenwriting, although, “The largest stars command a few of the heftiest paychecks on the planet, [but] they’re a part of a small share of working actors,” Backstage reported, and “making a dwelling as an actor is just not inconceivable — however it is extremely, very tough.”