As the SAG-AFTRA strike continues on, Aaron Paul has become the latest actor to call out Netflix for its residual model. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight Canada at a recent SAG rally, Paul suggested that he received zero compensation from the streamer for the performance of his hit series “Breaking Bad.”
“I don’t get a piece from Netflix on ‘Breaking Bad’ to be totally honest and that’s insane to me,” Paul told the publication (via Variety). “Shows live forever on these streamers and it goes through waves. And I just saw the other day that ‘Breaking Bad’ was trending on Netflix, and it’s just such common sense, and a lot of these streamers, they know they have been getting away with not paying people just fair wage and now it’s time to pony up.”
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Paul, who reunited with his “Breaking Bad” costars Bryan Cranston and Jesse Plemons at the rally, played Jesse Pinkman in all five seasons of the AMC drama. The series, created by Vince Gilligan, ran from 2008 to 2013, and was decently successful ratings-wise on linear television. But the show proved wildly successful on Netflix when it was added to the platform prior to the Season 4 premiere, and became a top-performer for the streamer. In 2019, Paul reprised his role for a sequel film “El Camino,” which was released as a Netflix original.
Paul’s comments follow several other actors who have voiced dissatisfaction over Netflix’s compensation for their work. Kimiko Glenn, who starred in Netflix original “Orange is the New Black,” said in a TikTok video posted shortly after SAG went on strike that the ensemble cast of the series, which ran for seven seasons, needed to get second jobs during its run. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, “Gilmore Girls” actor Sean Gunn said he received no compensation for the show’s performance on Netflix.
In July, Cranston gave a speech at SAG-AFTRA’s “Rock the City for a Fair Contract” rally in New York City, pointedly calling out Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger for calling SAG and the WGA’s demands “not realistic” and “very disturbing.”
“We’ve got a message for Mr. Iger,” Cranston said. “I know, sir, that you look [at] things through a different lens. We don’t expect you to understand who we are. But we ask you to hear us, and beyond that to listen to us when we tell you we will not be having our jobs taken away and given to robots. We will not have you take away our right to work and earn a decent living. And lastly, and most importantly, we will not allow you to take away our dignity! We are union through and through, all the way to the end!”
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