We all know that the entertainment industry is unfair and that, in most cases, those who work the hardest get the smallest piece of the cake. Well, how about that piece of cake being small yet never arriving at your table?
In the wake of the strikes that are shaking up the industry (and rightfully so), many writers, producers, and showrunners are coming out with their stories about the money entertainment corporations owe them.
For instance, Cody Ziglar, a writer for MCU’s ‘She-Hulk’ series, says his residual check for the show was $396. For those who are unacquainted with the term, residual payment (also known as backend payment or backend compensation) is part of a contract that agrees upon profit sharing after the work is finished and receives profits.
For example, if a writer contractually agrees upon 1% of backend compensation, and the show/movie earns a profit of $100000, his residual check would be $1000.
Now, Cody Ziglar did receive his check, but it was atrociously low, in many people’s opinion. However, some people – like Steven DeKnight, the showrunner of ‘Daredevil‘ Season 1 – never received a single cent of their residuals.
Answering a Tweet about Cody Ziglar’s residual check, Steven DeKnight shared his own story. Specifically, he shared that he is still in a fight to get his own backend compensation for ‘Daredevil’ Season 1 – which came out all the way back in 2015.
“So speaking of Daredevil, as showrunner of S1, part of my deal includes a little sliver of the backend. Never expected to see any on Netflix. But then Marvel/Disney pulled it, and it ended up on Disney+. Now I’m part of an audit to try to get the money they owe me and others.”
In other words, DeKnight knew that his contractually agreed-upon backend compensation would never arrive after the show’s stint on Netflix. However, the new deal that sent ‘Daredevil’ to Disney+ means that the show is again making a profit – but he is not getting any residual payment. In a separate Tweet, DeKnight added:
“And here’s the thing about auditing to get what’s owed to you: YOU have to pay for it (divided up among the backend participants). The last time I had to do this, it cost me alone 17K and took over two years.”
So, to make matters worse – not only is he still fighting for money that is owed to him – which probably isn’t even a lot, seeing how little Cody Ziglar got for his residuals for ‘She-Hulk’ – but he is paying for it out of his own pocket.
“Entertainment Corporations will do ANYTHING to keep you from paying you what you’re contractually owed.” – he shared in another Tweet.
It’s a dire business where millions of dollars run through daily. Seeing how it actually works in practice with more and more of these kinds of situations seeing the light of day – it’s no wonder that the strikes are happening as we speak.
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