Aaron Paul has been defended by fans after making comments about his lack of residual pay from Breaking Bad amid the ongoing actors’ and writers’ strikes.
Paul, 44, starred opposite Bryan Cranston for the entirety of the critically-acclaimed five-season drug-dealing drama, which ran from 2008 to 2013.
Speaking to ET Canada, Paul revealed: “I don’t get a piece from Netflix on Breaking Bad, to be totally honest.
“And that’s insane to me,” he said. “Shows live forever on these streamers, and it goes through waves.
He shared that just the other day, he saw “Breaking Bad was trending on Netflix”.
“I think a lot of these streamers, they know that they have been getting away with not paying people, and now it’s time to pony up,” Paul added, “and that’s just one of the things we’re fighting for.”
The Independent has contacted Netflix for comment.
Residuals are long-term payments to those who worked on films and television shows, negotiated by unions, for re-runs and other airings after the initial release.
The comments also illustrate the misconception that a performer on TV = millionaire. 99.9% of the time this is not the case. High profile actors in hit shows like Friends demanding bigger cuts is the outlier. Most actors are swinging vine to vine like the rest of us.
— Chad-Michael Simon (@Yellowstone_BoC) September 5, 2023
The lack of residual pay has been one of the chief talking points in discussions between SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers).
Paul’s remarks, which were shared on X/Twitter on Monday (4 September), have since been condemned by some who pointed out that Paul is among the industry’s big earners.
“Why is that insane?” one questioned. “I don’t get royalties from an old job I did.”
Numerous people, however, argued back, with one responding: “People in the replies like ‘boo hoo poor millionaire actor’ but the point is that if the *star of the show* isn’t making any money from streaming, you think anyone else is????”
Another wrote: “I’ll never understand the folks criticising others trying to get a piece of the pie the mega-millionaires and multi-billionaires keep for themselves. SUPPORT THE WORKERS.”
“It’s really easy for some ppl to think the millionaire actor shouldn’t get paid, because they don’t see the yachts, mega mansions, exotic cars & vacation homes that the anonymous executives have,” a second commented.
Hollywood has been effectively shut down since July when SAG-AFTRA voted to join the Writers Guild of America (WGA) in the fight for a fairer deal.
The chief demands of both unions are similar: increased wages, improved working conditions and higher streaming residuals. The latter has been a buzzword among striking A-listers, many of whom have also revealed their “appalling” pay stories to explain the historic strike.