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‘Orange Is the New Black’ Supporting Cast Says They Were Never Fairly Compensated For Netflix’s Success – UnlistedNews

orange is the new black helped put Netflix on the map. Now, several of the supporting stars in the pioneering prison drama are looking back on the show’s continued success to wonder why they weren’t fairly compensated.

Their questions, which come as the Jenji Kohan-created series celebrates the 10th anniversary of its premiere on July 11, 2013, arose in a New Yorker history posted before SAG-AFTRA announced an actors’ strike after the union failed to reach an agreement with studio and streamer group Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). And many of the OITNB The cast members’ problems reflect the central issues of the tense negotiations between SAG and the AMPTP.

Ten OITNB recurring stars (some later becoming series regulars), including Kimiko Glenn, Alysia Reiner, Beth Dover, Emma Myles, Diane Guerrero, Taryn Manning and Lea DeLaria — spoke with writer Michael Schulman about being paid the “absolute minimum” SAG daily rate, which was less than $1,000 per episode, at the beginning of the series. Even as the SAG Award and Emmy Award-winning show became a hit for Netflix globally, many cast members said they had to keep their day jobs during the series’ run. The actors also talk about the pay disparity among non-minority cast members and the minimal residuals they’ve received since the broadcast series ended in 2019 (Myles said she earned about $20 in residuals from the show this year). .

TO Glenn’s TikTok where she revealed that a total of $27.30 in overseas royalties went viral when she resurfaced amid the writers’ strike, prompting similar public responses from her co-stars Matt McGorry and Dover. McGorry said he kept his day job throughout the series and Dover shared: “It actually cost me money to be in seasons 3 and 4 as I was hired locally and had to fly.”

“The first thing we say to each other when we meet is, ‘Yeah, he’s really screwed, all my waste is gone!'” shared Myles, who played recluse Leanne Taylor in six of the seven seasons. “When you’re a kid, you have this idea: once I’m in something that people actually see, I’ll be rich and have a house with 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?”

One star, who remained anonymous, said: “As the seasons progressed, we started to get more unhappy about the money, mainly because of how incredibly popular the show was. And then I felt, well, my friends on network shows are incredibly rich.” Series regulars were eventually paid up to $200,000 per episode, while the supporting cast made no more than $15,000, reports the New Yorker. Several of those speaking in the article called Netflix “telling its shareholders they’re making more than they’ve ever made” and the salary of then-head of content and now co-CEO Sarandos (his pay package came to $50 million last year).

Sarandos, together with a large part of the OITNB cast, took to social media this week to reflect on the show’s iconic run 10 years after it launched: “It was the first series to openly embrace diversity in all its forms and tell nuanced stories about a wide range of women from communities. marginalized and ignored who are not normally told on television”, wrote in part on Wednesday, thanking Kohan and “all OITNB family for a decade of memories.”

OITNBproduced by Lionsgate and distributed by Netflix (none commented on the New Yorker piece; Netflix and Lionsgate declined to comment. THR), was based on Piper Kerman’s memoir of the same name. The series, created by Kohan, who executive produced with writer Tara Herrmann, centered on Taylor Schilling’s character Piper, who navigates life at Litchfield Penitentiary. The hearing window into the women’s federal prison was through Piper, a white Brooklynite serving a 15-month sentence for her role in the drug ring of an ex-girlfriend (Laura Prepon). The inclusive show, which became an ensemble series, quickly became a hit, helping to popularize the term “binge watching” as Netflix continued to make scripted originals afterward. OITNB and house of cards. The series received Emmy recognition and became Netflix’s most-watched original..

As many of the cast members revealed in The Unlisted News’yes OITNB oral history When the show ended in 2019, the then-relatively unknown group had no expectations when they signed on for a series at a company then known for DVD red envelopes. They described in detail how the show catapulted them into the zeitgeist: “I was with Lea [DeLaria] in New York the day after it came out and it was like the Beatles were walking down the street,” recalled Manning, who was promoted to regular in the fourth season.

Even when the show ended, the creative team knew nothing about the viewership numbers, as streamers only recently released curated data about their shows’ viewership. “They didn’t tell us anything. [ratings] number after the first season. At Lionsgate, we came up with a Netflix Verbal Scorecard, which was either “amazing”, “really great”, “exceeded expectations”, or “we’ll see”. Orange seemed to be an ‘A’ from the start,” Lionsgate TV president Kevin Beggs shared with THR. “They indicated that there was a large percentage of people who watched all 13 episodes from midnight to the next day and our heads were spinning with the idea that people would stay up all night and binge the entire season. They didn’t share anything beyond that in the next year.”

Former Netflix originals director Cindy Holland, who with the support of Sarandos delivered OITNB a 13-episode, straight-to-series order, which was unheard of for the streamer at the time, confirmed in THR’s oral history, “I said, ‘All you have to know is that they were pleased, Jenji.’ … We didn’t know it would be as popular as it has been. We knew that we loved it and that it had an audience. Then after the first season was released, to see the number of people watching, the speed with which they were watching, the sheer amount of support on social media, and the fact that it’s a show that travels around the world, we we get excited”.

Kohan added at the time: “We’re still not sure what the numbers are! It’s very liberating, but it makes it much more difficult to negotiate. (laughs.) So, it’s a double-edged sword.”

It wasn’t until after the show ended that Netflix revealed a staggering 105 million of Netflix’s then-151 million paid subscribers worldwide had watched at least one episode of Netflix. OITNB. Herrmann shared with him New Yorker that the day after the season finale launch party, she and Kohan were brought into a conference room and finally told the numbers.

“A hundred million viewers had seen at least one episode, and I mean at least half had completed all six seasons,” said Herrmann, who said the main cast was not being paid on par with the cast. game of Thrones or any “great HBO show,” Schulman recalled. “From an artistic point of view, those numbers are impressive. And, from a business perspective, absolutely amazing. After revealing the numbers, the executive asked us, ‘How does hearing this make you feel?’ Jenji went silent and looked at me, and I said, ‘Like I want to renegotiate my contract.'”

July 13, 17:52 Updated with a note that Netflix and Lionsgate declined to comment THR.



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Sara Marcus
Sara Marcushttps://unlistednews.com
Meet Sara Marcus, our newest addition to the Unlisted News team! Sara is a talented author and cultural critic, whose work has appeared in a variety of publications. Sara's writing style is characterized by its incisiveness and thought-provoking nature, and her insightful commentary on music, politics, and social justice is sure to captivate our readers. We are thrilled to have her join our team and look forward to sharing her work with our readers.
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