Ellen Pompeo is calling out Netflix for their payment structure amid the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.
After the official Netflix TikTok account shared a photo of Pompeo’s Grey’s Anatomy character, Meredith Grey, posing with her arms crossed over her chest with the caption, “Me when there’s a 💣 in the chest cavity,” Pompeo, 53, shared a screenshot of the post via her Instagram Story.
“Also me when @netflix doesn’t pay actors residuals holla let’s talk,” she captioned the Tuesday, July 18, upload.
Pompeo — who left the cast of the medical drama earlier this year after 19 seasons — revealed during a January 2018 interview with The Hollywood Reporter that she was making $20 million annually for Grey’s Anatomy. She told the outlet that although at first she felt “greedy” asking for pay increases, her perspective changed when she realized the value of the show and her role in it.
“Grey’s has generated nearly $3 billion for Disney. When your face and your voice have been part of something that’s generated $3 billion for one of the biggest corporations in the world, you start to feel like, ‘OK, maybe I do deserve a piece of this,” Pompeo explained. (Grey’s airs on ABC — a Disney network — but is also available to stream on Netflix.)
Pompeo is not the only star who has spoken out about Netflix not paying residuals. Kimiko Glenn, who played Soso on the streaming platform’s original series Orange Is the New Black, alleged in a Saturday, July 15, TikTok video that many of her costars had to work second jobs while filming OITNB despite the show’s success.
“They were f—king famous as s—t, like, internationally famous, couldn’t go outside, but had to keep their second jobs because they couldn’t afford to not. We couldn’t afford cabs to set,” Glenn, 34, claimed in the clip.
Gilmore Girls alum Sean Gunn, for his part — who played eccentric Stars Hollow citizen Kirk in the series — spoke out about not reaping the benefits of the show’s continued popularity on Netflix while participating in the SAG-AFTRA strike.
“When the show is a huge success and they generate millions of dollars of profits for Netflix, we don’t share in any of that, in large part because there’s no transparency with their numbers,” he said in a video shared via Twitter on Saturday. “If a show’s a success, we should participate in that. That seems totally reasonable.”
The Screen Actors Guild — American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) officially voted to join the Writers Guild of America (WGA) in striking against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Production (AMPTP) on Friday, July 14, after the organizations failed to reach an agreement on fair wages and the use of artificial intelligence in the industry.
SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher called the moment “a very seminal hour” for members of the union.
“I went in thinking that we would be able to avert a strike. The gravity of this move is not lost on me,” Drescher, 65, said in a press conference one day before the strike took effect. “It’s a very serious thing that impacts thousands, if not millions of people all across this country and around the world. Not only members of this union, but people who work in other industries that service the people that work in this industry. … We had no choice. We are the victims here. We are being victimized by a very greedy entity.”
AMPTP, for its part, noted that the strike was “certainly not the outcome we hoped for” in a Thursday, July 13, statement, adding, “The Union has regrettably chosen a path that will lead to financial hardship for countless thousands of people who depend on the industry.”