While participating in the picket lines on Friday for the start of the SAG-AFTRA strike, Sean Gunn didn’t hold back in criticizing AMPTP for the insufficient residuals he has received for his role in Gilmore Girls.
The actor, who is the brother of DC head James Gunn, expressed to The Hollywood Reporter that his main focus was to protest against Netflix. Despite the show’s enduring success since its debut in 2000, he claims to have not received fair compensation.
“I spent a considerable amount of time on a television show called Gilmore Girls, which has generated enormous profits for Netflix,” he explained. “It has remained one of their most popular shows for over a decade. It’s constantly streamed, yet I receive minimal revenue from it.”
It’s worth noting that while Gilmore Girls streams on Netflix, the residuals Gunn refers to come from Warner Bros. Discovery, the studio responsible for producing and licensing the series to the streaming platform. Regardless of the viewership on Netflix, Gunn and his co-stars receive the same payment based on the studio’s arrangement.
Gunn portrayed the character Kirk, a peculiar resident of Stars Hollow, in the WB-produced series that originally aired for seven seasons from 2000 to 2007. He later reprised his role in Netflix’s 2016 revival, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, alongside Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel.
“I can’t pretend that I understand the ins and outs of all the facets of the AI issue, but I know that being compensated for use of one’s likeness is incredibly important and needs to be an equitable part of this deal,” he added. “Sharing in streaming revenue – it needs to be re-thought of. As Fran Drescher (president of SAG-AFTRA) said yesterday, the whole business model has fallen apart really and so we kind of need to restructure it from the top.”
The actors union officially joined the Writers Guild out on the picket lines on Friday after contract negotiations collapsed with studios and streamers at midnight Wednesday, leading to Hollywood’s first double strike in six decades.