The biggest upset at this year’s Oscars, would have been if a star had said; “We talk about the millions we make every weekend, perhaps some of that should go to decent wages for theater workers!”
Sooner or later someone will have to talk of the real Hollywood – it’s more than mega million dollar box office each weekend.. When media talks about low wages, don’t excuse Hollywood. One of the 8 lowest paying jobs in the country* is theater workers – the very ones that prop up tinsel town.
While Hollywood walks the red carpet, theater workers are swept under it.
Film stars, directors and theater owners, are often very generous and likable, but not to theater workers. Don’t be so pampered you don’t see the writing on the wall. Do you know that we often work for minimum wage, seldom are allowed full time hours, work all holidays, and because we are not allowed to work 40 hours, we are denied most worker benefits. This is no better than the way fast food restaurants and Wal-mart treats their employees. The real business of Hollywood, must be an industry with one of the most vast differences in salaries between those at the top and those at the bottom. Moral people in and out of Hollywood should be for fair wages for theater workers too.
Three reasons I hear as to why Hollywood multi-millionaire directors, actors, and producers should be excused from supporting fair wages for theater workers who sell the tickets to their films.
1. Hollywood doesn’t own the theaters:
They used to, but had to give it up – trustbusting! But only a lawyer would argue that they don’t control theaters now. Hollywood says all theaters have to be digital or no new films – and they can do it. That’s direct control over every theater.
If actors spoke out, it would change, if directors spoke out it would change. If theater owners spoke out for a more equitable share of ticket sells, they would be blocked by Hollywood film companies and it would NOT change.
2. The work is for only teens so we can pay the lowest wages by law.
84% of minimum-wage workers are age 20 or older, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
3. The job is so easy a machine can do it.
We have computer skills, business skills, theater running skills, restaurant running skills, customer service skills, etc. etc. AND we have to work with the PUBLIC! That includes people that trash what we do – but couldn’t find the front door without our help! Think it’s a breeze? Try it out and see.
Time for insular Hollywood to be fair to theater workers.
*These are the 8 lowest paying jobs: Fast food, dishwashers, cashiers, hosts, amusement part workers, move theater workers, farm workers, personal health care aides. Time for insular Hollywood to face up to its status as just as bad as Walmart, and McDonald’s when it comes to wages for theater workers.
Follow up: Consolidation of film leads to fewer films, bigger budgets, and safer choices. Hollywood the only place where a sequel is considered creative! But while each of the new big films will have a budget of 80 million or more – JUST for the advertising budget – theater workers continue to be one of the 8 lowest paid jobs in the country!