Members of the "Breaking Bad" cast have demonstrated their backing for the current work stoppage conducted by SAG-AFTRA, the US's largest union for actors. Aaron Paul, who played Jesse Pinkman on the hit TV show, joined Bryan Cranston (Walter White), Jesse Plemons (Todd Alquist), and other members of the ‘Breaking Bad’ universe on the picket line to show solidarity with the striking actors.
One of the main issues of concern in the strike is the lack of residual payments for actors in the streaming era. Residuals are additional payments made to actors when their shows or movies are broadcasted again. In the past, stars of long-running terrestrial sitcoms like 'Friends' or 'The Big Bang Theory' earned substantially from residuals, since their sitcoms were recurrently shown on TV.However, with the rise of streaming platforms like Netflix, actors are rarely paid residuals, even though their work is constantly available for viewers to replay.
Despite being one of the most-watched and highest-rated cable TV shows of its time, ‘Breaking Bad’ stars claim that they have not received adequate compensation for the show’s popularity on Netflix.Aaron Paul vented his discontent to the public, making it clear that he had not been paid by Netflix for ‘Breaking Bad’. The actor noted that streaming services were successfully sidestepping the payment of adequate wages to their performers, and that they need to take action and fork over what is truly due.
Bryan Cranston also weighed in on the issue, noting that Netflix and Sony are not the enemies and that the actors are not trying to portray them as such.He declared that all they desire is for the companies to comprehend the exact circumstances. Cranston emphasized the importance of organized labor and the need for actors to stand together to demand fair compensation.
Cranston also echoed the sentiments of SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher, who stated that the ongoing strikes are part of a broader movement for fair treatment and compensation in the entertainment industry. He emphasized the power of organized labor in holding management accountable and ensuring that actors are paid what they deserve.
The SAG-AFTRA strike has put the spotlight on the lopsided remuneration for actors during this period of streaming. With the rise of platforms like Netflix, actors are no longer benefiting from the repeated airing of their shows on traditional television networks. The lack of residual payments has caused a significant loss of income for many actors.
As the strike continues, the hope is that streaming platforms and production companies will recognize the importance of fair compensation for actors. The stars of ‘Breaking Bad’ have added their voices to the cause, standing in solidarity with their fellow actors and demanding what they believe is rightfully theirs.If their exertions will generate durability effects in the industry can only be determined in the future.