EXPLAINED: What Cost Generations Actors Their Jobs

The week long strike  that culminated with 16 principal actors of Generations being fired today started on Monday a week ago. This was the second strike by the Generations actors who were ordered to report to work on Wednesday, and then again today ... or be fired. 

They refused to go to work today despite the second ultimatum, saying that they're being exploited, that their show generates an incredible income for the SABC, and as you may have read, they were CANNED. 

The actors first embarked on a strike in October 2013 - 10 months ago, over these same issues. 

So, what are these issues that cost 16 actors their jobs (in simple terms)? 

  1. Salary Increase
The cast say; despite the show being the most popular in South Africa, they are paid rates well below what is understood to be the industry norm.
Mr Fundi Vundla says; Of the 20 highest paid actors in South Africa, 12 are from Generations.  

      2. Royalties and syndication fees.   
The cast via their representatives say their contracts stipulate that they, as cast, are due certain fees whenever Generations is sold to an international broadcaster. To date, the show is aired in a number of different countries across the world. However, the says they have never received our royalties.

      3.  Three Year Contracts   
The cast say the Generations shooting schedule is intense, and leaves little time for them to pursue other professional opportunities.   
      In requesting 3-year contracts, they are not demanding a blanket 3-year guarantee of work. They say they understand that clauses can be inserted to terminate employment due to issues of non-performance, insubordination and issues of that nature.   

To be fair, we are not privy to the information shared between the two parties in negotiation meeting. One is only going with what is being shared by each party, obviously understanding that each is looking to protect their interest.

However, if these are the issues that Mr Mfundi Vundla and the SABC deem unreasonable then we have a serious problem in this industry. 

How is someone asking to be paid royalties, unreasonable? Is it not the norm in the industry across the world that actors get paid syndication fees. That's how American and British actors of world popular show are able to make the Forbes list with their earnings. Oprah became a billionaire because of her talkshow syndication fees. 

With the salary increase, no-one is willing to publicly give out numbers yet so that leaves just speculation. Be that as it may, Mr Vundla's statement is worrying, just because someone is the highest paid doesn't mean they are paid their dues accordingly. 

The three year job security thing, I am a little understanding on why the SABC and MSSV would have an issue there. Yes clause can be put in to allow the show to end an actor's contract before the 3 year lapse, but let's be real, that will just be a headache for the show if they just don't want to deal with an actor or character anymore. On this one I get why the bosses would be reluctant to sign on. 

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.