“Tailored suits, chauffeured cars, Fine hotels and big cigars.”
-AC/DC, “Money Talks”
It’s common to desire a higher wage for the services you offer to your employer; there’s nothing wrong with asking for a reasonable increase in pay if you feel that you deserve adequate compensation for recent performance. However, there’s a level that must be respected; please keep in mind that no matter how amazing you are, your job position may not be equally as remarkable. Seriously though, why can’t a manager at a small business make millions of dollars comparable to an athlete’s or actor’s salary? In retrospect, isn’t money based on how much worth you are to your company? If that’s the case, how much would a superhero get paid by the city? Some characters would know better than others.
Television is a business, and the stars of The Big Bang Theory are certainly proving that. Just like certain athletes have set the bar for “maximum money”, Friends had that effect on programming. The six stars of the famed comedy never really have to work again (and it’s been showing) because, towards the end of the series, they were earning $1 million each per episode. That’s ridiculous if you think about it, but not ridiculous enough for the nerdy version of the Central Perk clan to holdout and delay the start of the upcoming season. They wanted “Friends” money or they didn’t want to work. Kind of like the millennial bums obsessed with unworthy entitlement that you encounter every day, except Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Johnny Galecki, and Jim Parsons actually did something to deserve it, and they won. Here’s their victory package.
Cuoco-Sweeting, Galecki, and Parsons: From $350,000 per episode to $1,000,000 per episode plus incentive for Emmy wins and bonuses for being super hot (Goldberg, 2014).
Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch: Blossom and Blondie have signed contracts increasing their salaries 100% from $30,000 per episode to $60,000 (Goldberg, 2014).
Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar: Once again, Howard and Raj aren’t getting any (money of course, Howard is married to the blonde chick in the show, geez, think about something else) (Goldberg, 2014).
Why though? That question requires many answers. It’s not just about television and acting; quite frankly, acting is incredibly difficult. I would record myself while reading my scripts as part of the editing process, trying to add the emotion and tone I wished the characters to have, and I was awful. It was one of those situations where you get embarrassed while no one else is around. Pathetic. Also, you have to take into consideration how many companies buy ad space during a highly-rated television program, and the price tag isn’t cheap. Amongst many other things, look also at what The Big Bang Theory has done for comic book sales, superhero t-shirts, and so on; not to mention merchandise purchased directly related to the show. The program has done as much for television and retail as the Fab 5 did for college basketball, Nike, and Hip-Hop.
Of course there’s an unbalance in American earnings, but that’s part of the dream of becoming a famous actor or athlete. You must remember that their main responsibility is to keep you entertained. Raise your hand if know someone that doesn’t watch sports or television; hell, even read a book or listen to music? I can’t really tell if you’re actually raising you’re hand so you can put it down, but I’m sure there weren’t many up in the first place. If the public had access to the numbers that entertainment actually generates then they probably wouldn’t mind that one person makes more money for 21 or so minutes of air time than a third-world country nets in an entire year. Maybe that’s why the higher-paid celebrities adopt all those foreign kids? It’s their way of giving back.
Goldberg, L. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/big-bang-theorys-big-bucks-723652 on August 8th, 2014