Another actor has come out in support of the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike — and is opening up about why it matters to him.
If you’re a casual enjoyer of all the wonderful streaming shows Hulu and Netflix have to offer, then chances are you may have seen Luke Cook pop up here and there. From the highly popular Chilling Adventures of Sabrina to Dynasty, he’s certainly made a name for himself in the streaming biz. However, according him, acting doesn’t even keep the lights on and his kids’ bellies full.
In a clip posted to his TikTok last week, the working actor addressed the Screen Actors Guild strike, and a common misconception the general public has about how the line of work operates:
“So SAG actors are going on strike. What does that mean? My name is Luke Cook, I am an actor from the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Katy Keene, Dynasty, Dollface, and I am not a millionaire I drive a 2010 Mazda s3. My previous car was a 2006 Ford Taurus. 95 percent of the actors in SAG cannot make a living from acting — they’ve gotta have side hustles, etcetera. I am one of those actors.”
“So the actors you’re thinking of who are millionaires are usually series regulars or big A-listers in big movies. The actors who surround them, though, are the actors like myself, guest stars, co-stars, etcetera, and we’re paid chips. I’ll give you an example: I did a show called Dollface last year. They put me on a billboard on Sunset [Boulevard]. Do you know how much they paid me to be on the billboard? Zero. The amount that they paid me to be in the show was not much better.”
The Follow Her star explained:
“So I live in Los Angeles and I have two kids. I got paid per episode — which is two weeks of work – $7,500. Then it’s taxed, then a manager takes 10 percent, an agent takes 10 percent, and a lawyer takes five percent.”
For those doing the math he’s getting taxed and THEN giving away 25% more. So the take-home is quite a bit less than half. And take into account he isn’t making that much all the time. He has to spend time auditioning and meeting with directors and all that stuff, and he doesn’t get paid for any of that time. He continued:
“Now I am one rung below a series regular who is making maybe $100,000, sometimes, per episode. They’re very wealthy, and they’re worth it, too — they’re usually very talented people. A huge portion of this strike is about people like me who need to be paid more for the work that they do, and let them have a portion of the profits that these streamers and these big companies are bringing in. This discussion is not about millionaires. As I said, 95 percent of the union can’t make enough money to live by just doing this job.”
The S.W.A.T. actor shared that the big, A-list actors won’t be affected by the strike, as they’ll “continue to get paid a whole lot of money” either way. But the smaller actors, like himself, need better contracts. He explained:
“I always have a side job. I think it’d be great to get paid money to be in your favorite shows. That just seems fair to me. Like, if you’ve seen me on TV, I shouldn’t have to have two side jobs just in order to survive.”
Watch his full TikTok below:
Luke mentioned in a follow-up TikTok that he works on the side as a fitness instructor but still struggles. However, since posting the video, he’s had some support. He told Page Six Tuesday that colleagues have reached out to thank him for speaking up, but he doesn’t understand why they won’t join him:
“I’m like, but we need you to tell your story right now … why don’t you have the courage? You don’t want to piss off the bosses, like your future bosses. I understand that sentiment, I really do. But I just think we need to be a little more courageous right now. If we band together, they can’t shoot us all down.”
He claimed that unlike the Writers Guild of America, who are also currently striking, he thinks actors have lost their “rebellious spirit.” But at the end of the day, he’s “hoping, fingers crossed, that we get some balls, for the want of a better word” — if not for himself, at least for his family. He told the outlet, “I can live on carrots and water.” However, potentially losing his SAG health insurance would leave his fam in a disastrous position.
What do YOU think of this latest actor’s plea for better SAG deals, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments down below!