In the midst of a strike in Hollywood, South Korean actors also want to start negotiations with Netflix

In the midst of a strike in Hollywood, South Korean actors also want to start negotiations with Netflix

After SAG-AFTRA, the union of Korean actors demands better remuneration from the platform.

Tension rises against netflix in South Korea. The country’s film industry seems to be taking the same path as that of the United States: after the screenwriters, the actors are in turn demanding better remuneration. The platform, already occupied by the biggest social movement in Hollywood since 1960, is singled out for having benefited for many years from a system that underpaid South Korean secondary actors.

THE Korean Actors Union (KBAU) wishes to enter into negotiations with it in order to create new contracts for its members. Only, the platform avoids all calls from its president, Song Chang-gon.

“One of their first priorities when entering the local market should be to establish a channel of communication with groups like us,” the president of the actors’ union said indignantly. But there is no answer at all”he is indignant in the pages of the Los Angeles Times.The problem, it is especially that the budgets of the large productions are not distributed equitably. Most of it goes to the actors-stars and screenwriters of renown. But for the majority of secondary actors, salaries have stagnated, or fallen sharply”, he adds.

In January, Netflix revealed that 60% of its audience consumed South Korean films and series. With 56 original productions, the platform has established itself in the country with great financial ambitions, and information in mind: in South Korea, working conditions are much more “flexible”, even abusive, both for actors and for screenwriters.

“Working conditions on Netflix original productions are exactly the same as others in Korea. (…) There is a staggering amount of unpaid work in the country”explained in particular Kim Ki-young, president of the Broadcasting Staffs Union (which represents production teams in South Korea) to the Los Angeles Times in June.

This disastrous remuneration policy has not even escaped Netflix’s most popular (and therefore most profitable) series. Squid Game brought in more than 900 million dollars to the American giant, which however paid almost nothing to its creator, Hwang Dong-hyeok. His contract included the loss of all his intellectual property rights, and certainly no fruitful “bonus” if successful.

Like American actors, comedians from South Korea also fear the development of artificial intelligence in cinema.

“There are definitely similarities between us and SAG-AFTRA (the Hollywood actors’ union, editor’s note)”, admits Song Chang-gon. “It would be useful for the organizations representing the players from all over the world to collaborate with each other, to create real solidarity. I think it is very important”he concludes.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep and George Clooney also support the actors’ strike

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