Like dealing with a bad case of piles, finding a job can be tough, right? Well, news out last week was that screenwriters in Hollywood and beyond are now being hammered on the job front. As reported in the i newspaper, screenwriting jobs and wages in Hollywood have declined for a second consecutive year, with total earnings down 12.6%.
Okay, so I guess if writers’ wages are down, actors’ wages will be down too, right? Wrong. Take the film Hangover 3. Due out in 2013, its actors are
reported to be receiving more than double the amount of pay they enjoyed for the first film. No wage cuts there then. And remember the sitcom, Friends? By the time the last series was running, the actors were receiving a huge $20m (£12.5m) a year. And how about the writers? Well they were earning nowhere near as much, nowhere near. And that’s the main question here: why are writers paid so much less?
Is it right for actors to still receive enormous pay increases while the screenwriters who create the films for the actors receive less pay year-on-year? It isn’t simply wages either. Recognition for screenwriters’ work in films goes more unnoticed as time goes by. Yes there are exceptions (step forward the wonderful Diablo Cody). And of course writers as a profession do not naturally seek the limelight. But isn’t it only right to dish out recognition where it’s due? And if that means the correct wage packet that reflects the effort put in, then surely that should be done? The trouble with the movie world is that it is littered with inequality: men vs women, writers vs actors, runners vs studio execs. There is a pecking order – and writers are missing out.
So come on, Hollywood, how’s about a little more respect for your writers and a few more dollars in their pay packets? Bet it would make a great movie…
How about you? Have you been paid less than someone working on the same project? Are you an underpaid writer? Or do you think writers can’t expect to receive the same pay heights as others? Let’s start the debate…
**Look out for Wednesday Wafflings where I post my latest entry of my Diary of a Hopeful Author**