‘Suits’ Writers Slam Netflix for ‘Pretty Sad’ Residual Checks

Fits lately turned an enormous hit on streaming companies — however its writers declare that success hasn’t trickled right down to their paychecks.

Sisters Lilla and Nora Zuckerman, who labored as writers and producers on season 4 and 5 of the USA Community present, broke down their current residual earnings to assist clarify why Hollywood’s writers and actors are at the moment on strike.

Lilla informed Decider that she “obtained $12,568.57 in residuals” in 2016 for the season 5 episode “Blowback,” which premiered in January of that 12 months. “I think about it was most likely being bought internationally and re-airing on USA,” she stated in an interview revealed on Thursday, August 10. “This 12 months, 2023, the place Fits has been considered for billions and billions of hours on Netflix, I obtained the grand whole of $414.26 on that episode.”

Fits aired its ninth and remaining season in 2019, however the authorized drama has seen an enormous resurgence in reputation since shifting in June from Prime Video to Netflix, which hosts the present’s first eight seasons. Peacock, in the meantime, gives the whole collection. For the week of June 29, Fits racked up greater than 3 billion minutes of viewing on the 2 platforms, marking a Nielsen streaming chart file for an acquired title.

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The numbers are definitely spectacular, however Nora and Lilla say they haven’t seen a lot of a rise of their residual funds. “It’s actually laborious to kind via all these checks, since you get dozens of them which might be, like, $7 right here, $30 there and so forth,” Lilla defined. “However that’s with Fits airing on two totally different main streaming platforms. It’s this blockbuster hit, and I obtained a grand whole of $414 for it.”

Nora, for her half, added, “You hope that perhaps some magical verify will arrive, however it doesn’t seem. … It’s been fairly unhappy.”

Nora Zuckerman and Lilla Zuckerman.
John Salangsang/Shutterstock

Low residual funds are one of many foremost explanation why two Hollywood unions — the Writers Guild of America and the Display screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Tv and Radio Artists — are in a standoff with the Alliance of Movement Image and Tv Producers. Earlier than streaming turned a major technique of watching TV, actors and behind-the-camera crew relied on residual funds to carry them over between tasks. These funds have dwindled through the streaming period, so WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikers are hoping to renegotiate a greater contract with AMPTP.

The Zuckermans are simply two of many within the leisure trade who’ve spoken out about their miniscule residual funds. Final month, Mandy Moore revealed that she’s obtained “very tiny, like, 81-cent checks” for This Is Us, which was a serious hit when it initially aired on NBC.

“The residual difficulty is a large difficulty,” Moore, 39, informed The Hollywood Reporter whereas becoming a member of a SAG-AFTRA picket line in Los Angeles. “We’re in extremely lucky positions as working actors having been on reveals that discovered super success in a technique or one other … however many actors in our place for years earlier than us have been in a position to dwell off of residuals or no less than pay their payments.”