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Do Television Stars Make Too Much Money?

Brian 2010/10/14 11:00:00
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While much of the country is still struggling to find jobs to support them, A-list television stars are raking in more dough than ever before, and Forbes' list of the top-earning names in prime time television revealed just how big those checks have gotten.

Of course, we've heard it all before with arguments over athletes' salaries and pop musicians, but when Angus T. Jones, the 17-year-old star of "Two and a Half Men," renewed his contract for an astounding $300,000 per episode, it starts to feel a little bit ridiculous.

And Jones' salary pales in comparison to co-star Charlie Sheen, whose latest contract could net him almost $100 million dollars next season. That's more than 2000 times the real median salary of a working American male.

It's easy to try and excuse their extravagant paychecks because, when you think about it, individual names like Simon Cowell (who made $80 million this year) and Steve Carell ($34 million) both directly and indirectly generate a huge percent of revenue for entire networks. Without Cowell, Fox was left to rope in multiple big-name replacements for "Idol" just to attempt to keep up with the millions of viewers he brought them every season. Without Carell, NBC has no choice but to cut its massively successful version of "The Office" down to one final season.

Not only that, but they generate traffic for information-based businesses and corporations that they aren't even a part of. TMZ would be nothing without the public's interest in the high-payed celebrities they stalk.

But it's hard for me to fathom that the success Sheen is bringing CBS merits him such a disproportionate salary. It's unlikely that the show's Emmy-winning cinematographers and editors are making more than a small fraction of Sheen's salary, and that's to say nothing of writers and directors, who have nothing to offer in terms of public status, but still serve an enormously important role in the show's success.

Is it that fantastic actors are the rarest of breeds? Don't get me wrong, Sheen is a great actor. But is he so indispensable that his $52 million salary from last year had to be doubled in order to keep him on board?

I don't claim to understand the inner workings of network television, and I'm not saying Sheen doesn't deserve to be highly paid, but from where I'm sitting, $100 million is absurd. There wouldn't be so much heated discussion of the ethics behind government redistribution if big salaries were proportionate to begin with.



Read More: http://tv.yahoo.com/blog/primetime-tvs-topearning-...

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  • marcuss LIBERALS ARE TRAITORS 2010/10/14 20:38:00
    Yes, they make too much
    marcuss LIBERALS ARE TRAITORS
    +3
    They are all LIBERALS so they should give up have of their insane weekly paychecks to support their beliefs.
    They only care about spending other peoples money and not their own.

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  • Deb 2013/06/08 11:52:55
    Yes, they make too much
    Deb
    Entertainers and sports figures definitely make too much money! I'm in healthcare for over 30 years and no one takes more abuse from the public than healthcare workers! I have years of education to support my position, saves lives, and work long hours doing it. I have held in my arms the distraught parent who just lost their child, dealt with every emotion possible from people because of their health situation or their loved one. Entertainers are thought of as artist, well what do you think healthcare workers are all about?? Its also an art and its a gift to do what we do. There is something wrong with our society that we approve of these entertainers and sports figures to make so much money, when is society going to start saying "NO"?????
  • shane 2012/03/21 17:32:37
    Yes, they make too much
    shane
    i think actors and movie stars and all celebrities should have the same price range as the average working man or woman otherwise not everyone is equal.
  • dty 2010/10/24 12:20:32
    Yes, they make too much
    dty
    way 2 much if they make y dont tha shar with me
  • Summer 2010/10/23 02:16:54
    Yes, they make too much
    Summer
    +1
    I'm saying yes to this. They entertain us..buut I just don't think their talent [or lack there of] is worth millions and millions...
  • GirlyGirl™ 2010/10/15 13:34:30
    No, they deserve their salaries
    GirlyGirl™
    Actors, singers, models, anyone directly in the public eye pretty much deserve their salaries. Not only to act, but to deal with all the crap that comes with the job. I don't hear much complaining about politicians' salaries!
  • XxXTiffany ScreamXxX 2010/10/15 13:25:47
    No, they deserve their salaries
    XxXTiffany ScreamXxX
    well, EVERYONE EXCEPT JERSEY SHORE PEOPLE! THEYRE PAH-THETIC!!!
  • Just Jenn for Now 2010/10/15 09:51:23
    No, they deserve their salaries
    Just Jenn for Now
    Well, granted, they DO indeed make the most money a person could probably make in a pretty simple way too. Sometimes I DO think TV stars get paid too much, but then again the acting industry is hard to get into. Only a handful of people that try and audition over and over ever really make it big. So if you ask me, if they truly tried hard to get into the acting business and even struggled to get to where they are now, then yes, they deserve it.

    It's the actors, both TV and movies, who just got brushed on in, like a road was paved just for them and all they had to do was cross the street to get famous and roll in the dough. THOSE are the kind that don't deserve high salaries. The ones that truly pushed their way to the top are the ones most deserving.

    That's kind of why Hugh Laurie is one of my favorites; he started small, mostly just commercials and lesser roles, and worked his way to where he is now. You can actually search "Hugh Laurie's early roles" on YouTube, it's amazing how much acting he's done.
    HE is the perfect example one of the actors that deserves the money, and he gets $480,000 he gets per episode of House.
  • blissful 2010/10/15 06:09:48
    Undecided
    blissful
    +1
    Well I am sure that they work just as hard to make their money like the rest of us. Getting up at unbelievable times in the mornings and sometimes not getting home til very late at night. And they also have to deal with the world contently barging in own their private lives. So I don't know..
  • Liza Jane 2010/10/15 05:55:14
    Yes, they make too much
    Liza Jane
    I don't see why any actor needs to be paid millions of dollars a year to... recite lines. It's ridiculous. I don't go to the movies or subscribe to cable; I don't believe in that ridiculousness. If I watch something it's free or costs $1.00 at RedBox. I have no interest in lining the pockets of actors and the companies who pay them.
  • Fef 2010/10/15 04:54:12
    No, they deserve their salaries
    Fef
    Everyone deserves what they get paid.
  • Bobby Fef 2010/10/15 13:22:37
    Bobby
    +1
    I don't think soccer players deserve what they get paid , and some works like Police officer or fire department they deserve more , but about TV stars you're right .
  • Gloria Maribel 2010/10/15 04:41:32
    Undecided
    Gloria Maribel
    damm y do ppl care how much they make i just care if the show is good:)
  • rtava 2010/10/15 03:09:18
    No, they deserve their salaries
    rtava
    two and a half men is great!
  • JP ISO 2012 2010/10/15 00:14:48
    Undecided
    JP ISO  2012
    If the network can pay them that much and still make money who am I to complain. Do not understand being upset cause someone makes more than you. They did what they needed to do to make the money they make and obviously you didn't. Exactly who's fault is that?
  • Mike 2010/10/14 23:41:42 (edited)
    Undecided
    Mike
    "There wouldn't be so much heated discussion of the ethics behind government redistribution if big salaries were proportionate to begin with."



    Who is to decide who deserves what? The only fair way for this to be decided is by the market itself. So long as a transaction is ethical, leave it as it is.



    If Charlie Sheen made 100 million from this new contract, then he earned it.
  • Maximus 2010/10/14 22:43:23
    Undecided
    Maximus
    I don't care about how much money they make, I dislike that show. Its has a couple of funny parts, but other than that its boring and stupid I rather watch The Office which I like more.
  • ShadowHeart 2010/10/14 22:03:33
  • apachehellfire65 2010/10/14 21:52:34
    Undecided
    apachehellfire65
    +1
    rich envy is never pretty!
  • Natmike 2010/10/14 21:30:50
    Undecided
    Natmike
    They earn what the market will bear - I agree that it is ridiculous that our society values these sit-com actors so much but yet are unwilling to pay teachers for example a living wage commensurate with the importance of the job they do. I don't watch a lot of sit-coms - if people are upset about the pay of sit com actors - just stop watching them and if enough people do this long enough, I guarantee you that their pay will go down dramatically. Instead of watching the boob tube, go outside and get some exercise or play a board game with your kids or read a book - any of those would benefit you immensely more than watching tv and as a side benefit you could do your part to reduce the overinflated pay of tv sit com actors.
  • Austin 2010/10/14 21:22:16
    No, they deserve their salaries
    Austin
    They really do
    I think musicians deserve there earnings more
    though cause they do so much more outside of the CD
  • Will Advocate of PHAET 2010/10/14 21:06:04
    No, they deserve their salaries
    Will Advocate of  PHAET
    Since when do people feel they have the right to decide how much someone should make in a business other than their own? I have been hearing this crap for years about professional athletes, actors, and CEO's. They are making what the market will bare. If Two and a Half Men got low ratings, they'd be unemployed. If the owner of the team wants to pay $100 million to a quarterback it is his business. All I hear are envious people that want everyone else to suffer whatever fortune they currently have. When they own the company they can set or negotiate the wages. If they don't like it, don't watch the program or buy the product.
  • TruBluTopaz 2010/10/14 20:53:49
    Undecided
    TruBluTopaz
    I won't oppose anyone's right to make as much money as they can. That being said, I think we pay far too much for celebrities and movie stars. I don't care about their personal lives and don't read about them. If the entertainment infrastructure wants to pay through the nose, that's their business. But down the road, if we the Public don't care about them, then that's going to hurt them in the pocketbook. More than a few former stars have wound up in bankruptcy thanks to their own stupidity in handling money.
  • BBoy legacy 2010/10/14 20:51:49
    No, they deserve their salaries
    BBoy legacy
    It does suck that the most we earn is like $ 100,000 a year... and they make like... # 3,000 an episdode... which they can make in like..... 20 minutes....???
    But They do work hard and must be commited... we do have the right to be jealous... but what can we do..??
  • magic_is_might BN-0 2010/10/14 20:47:55
    Yes, they make too much
    magic_is_might BN-0
    I like my TV shows, but they make more in one episode than I could in a decade.

    And then some of them complain that they don't get paid enough.
  • fuzzy Ken "In G*d We Trust" 2010/10/14 20:47:06
    No, they deserve their salaries
    fuzzy Ken "In G*d We Trust"
    If an actor produces revenue in excess of what they get paid, what's wrong with that?
    If advertisers make enough money from sales generated by ads aired during 2 1/2 men so that CBS makes enough money to pay Chuck Lorre Productions enough money to pay Charlie Sheen 2 mil and episode, what's wrong with that?
  • marcuss LIBERALS ARE TRAITORS 2010/10/14 20:38:00
    Yes, they make too much
    marcuss LIBERALS ARE TRAITORS
    +3
    They are all LIBERALS so they should give up have of their insane weekly paychecks to support their beliefs.
    They only care about spending other peoples money and not their own.
  • fuzzy K... marcuss... 2010/10/14 20:48:06
    fuzzy Ken "In G*d We Trust"
    They may be liberals but they also produce revenue and therefor should get paid whatever they can get.
  • marcuss... fuzzy K... 2010/10/14 20:53:18
    marcuss LIBERALS ARE TRAITORS
    +1
    They make over 250k a year time to buck up some of those millions.
  • fuzzy K... marcuss... 2010/10/14 21:06:14
    fuzzy Ken "In G*d We Trust"
    +1
    Yup.
    Let's see how much love they give Obama when they're paying taxes out the wazoo!
  • TruBluT... marcuss... 2010/10/14 20:56:19
    TruBluTopaz
    +2
    Like that's going to happen. There's a very real divide between what celebrities say and what they do. Witness if you will, Barbara Streisand's outre home. How "green" is that building anyway? Witness if you will the countless limos and ginormous SUV's that carry around celebrities who then rail against a middle class family for daring to drive a minivan. They are hypocrites one and all insulated from reality by publicists, agents and media. If they had to live in the real world with their current values, they would not survive.
  • LdyLeo 2010/10/14 20:13:54
    Yes, they make too much
    LdyLeo
    +1
    Actors are on tv and in movies to entertain us. People with real professions such as doctors, lawyers, police, nurses, teachers, fire fighters, etc. should be entitled to all that money as well because those are REAL careers. I understand that actors need to make their money, but it makes me sick that alot people have lost jobs and others are trying to struggle just to get by, while these celebrities are still making too much money; money that should be going to people with real careers who are working harder than they are.
  • BBoy le... LdyLeo 2010/10/14 20:53:12
    BBoy legacy
    +1
    yeah... we save lives... when they save millions of dollars
  • Johnnyknowvote 2010/10/14 19:32:58
    No, they deserve their salaries
    Johnnyknowvote
    +1
    get all you can, as fast as you can, for as long as you can. what's wrong with that? As always, let the market do it's job.
  • MOMMA THOMAS 2010/10/14 19:26:12
    Yes, they make too much
    MOMMA THOMAS
    +1
    SOME STARS MAKE ENORMOUS MONEY....UNBELIEVABLE, OUTRAGEOUS SALARIES. THE INDUSTRY THRIVES! ONE SON WORKS AS A GRIP, ....ANYTHING RELATED TO SUCCESSFUL FILM, T.V., VIDEOS CAN BE LUCRATIVE.....AS LONG AS THE PUBLIC SUPPORTS IT. THE "STARS" ARE KEY TO THE "SALES."
  • TruBluT... MOMMA T... 2010/10/14 20:56:59
    TruBluTopaz
    The same could be said of pro athletes, politcians.
  • Mariana... MOMMA T... 2010/10/15 03:52:36
    Mariana Gallegos
    Dude, what's up with the CAPS?
  • MOMMA T... Mariana... 2010/10/15 06:17:27
    MOMMA THOMAS
    SORRY THE CAPS OFFEND YOU. HAD A STROKE, EYESIGHT IS FAILING. SODAHEAD IS ONE OF A FEW THINGS I CAN STILL ENJOY.
  • Mariana... MOMMA T... 2010/10/15 18:04:28
    Mariana Gallegos
    Sorry :) i was just wondering
  • Goldie 2010/10/14 19:06:43
    Yes, they make too much
    Goldie
    +1
    To me $10,000 an episode would be to much. It's a 30 minute sitcom. And these people don't have golden turds. Think about the average person working 40 hard hrs a week @ $15 an hr. Then take out for the government, and SSI, then add in the cost of insurance and possibly the expense for gas and wear and tear on the auto he drives. What is left is a tight budget. Now imagine he makes min. wage and not allowed to work full time, because with full time hrs, comes benefits. Also, you can forget the OT hrs. He's in a hole before he ever starts his job. And it's no wonder there are so many on welfare. Sad situation.
  • Mystical♥Gleek 2010/10/14 18:15:43
    Undecided
    Mystical♥Gleek
    I'm not in the entertainment business but I have heard that they make a lot of money sometimes if shows or movies are doing well. Television will always be a high paid occupation.

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