Joey King has been out on the picket lines supporting the actors’ and writers’ strikes, but she’s trying to get the message across that even well-known actors are struggling to pay their bills. The 24-year-old actress, who is known for her work in The Kissing Booth and Bullet Train, shared the scary reality of what it is like to work in Hollywood where the streaming networks hold all of the power.
“A lot of people don’t understand. It’s not just the big stars. In fact, that’s such a small portion of the people that need to be paid,” King told CNN. “I genuinely understand the misconception. Why would you understand what we’re asking for? All you see is like big actors on the picket line … but the truth of the matter is there’s 160,000 SAG members and a lot of them don’t even qualify for health insurance every year because of how little they get paid.” Back in the era when there were only three networks — ABC, CBS, and NBC — TV shows ran for 25-30 episodes per season. With the streaming platforms, some series only have eight episodes, which seriously affects actors’ paychecks.
“Do people really think that actors have multiple jobs for fun? No, this is their passion. This is their love,” King added. “We need to protect all of our members.” The creatives, who are taking additional jobs to make ends meet (think restaurant work, DoorDash, and Uber) are sometimes very familiar faces. King thinks “a lot of people don’t realize that some of their favorite actors are some of those people that can’t make ends meet.”
The actors’ strike has gone on for over 40 days and the writers’ strike is in its fourth month. King reminded everyone that cast and crew members “want to get back to work” and she hopes the studio executives see that urgent need to negotiate a fair contract “because people need work.”
Before you go, click here to see all the celebrities who supported the SAG-AFTRA & WGA strikes.
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