Emmy Award-winning actor Aaron Paul recently revealed he didn’t make anything from Netflix streaming hit show, “Breaking Bad.” Paul starred as Jesse Pinkman, opposite Bryan Cranston’s Walter White, for all five seasons of the AMC drama. The series eventually became a fixture on Netflix, even getting its own original movie, “El Camino,” through the streamer.
Part of “Breaking Bad”’s success on the platform was Netflix putting up the first three seasons before the fourth aired on AMC. Which, at the time, was a brand new concept but it has become a standard expectation for most viewers. Showing how deep of an impact the show had on the platform as a whole.
“I don’t get a piece from Netflix on ‘Breaking Bad’ to be totally honest and that’s insane to me,” Paul told Entertainment Tonight Canada at a recent SAG-AFTRA rally.
“Shows live forever on these streamers and it goes through waves,” he continued alongside former co-stars Cranston and Jesse Plemons, who played Todd Alquist. “And I just saw the other day that ‘Breaking Bad’ was trending on Netflix, and it’s just such common sense, and a lot of these streamers, they know they have been getting away with not paying people just fair wage and now it’s time to pony up.”
Paul’s comments underscore a huge reason for both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Many of these writers and performers went under contract before streaming was really considered a viable option for entertainment. Even more recent contracts aren’t reflecting residuals from streaming. Which, as Paul bluntly puts it, is insane.
Cranston has been a part of SAG-AFTRA picket lines in both New York City and Los Angeles since the start of the strike. In July, he gave a speech in Times Square where he specifically called out Disney CEO Bob Iger.
“We’ve got a message for Mr. Iger,” Cranston said. “I know, sir, that you look [at] things through a different lens. We don’t expect you to understand who we are. But we ask you to hear us, and beyond that to listen to us when we tell you we will not be having our jobs taken away and given to robots. We will not have you take away our right to work and earn a decent living. And lastly, and most importantly, we will not allow you to take away our dignity! We are union through and through, all the way to the end!”
You can watch more of Paul and Cranston’s interview here.