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Monday, 22 May, 2000, 09:28 GMT 10:28 UK
Do TV stars demand too much cash?

Millions of people love tuning in to get their weekly fix of the twentysomething US sitcom Friends, but does its popularity really warrant paying the cast so much money?

The six actors have just signed a multi-million two-year contract extension which means each of the stars will take home $750,000 (470,000) per episode. This is a staggering $625,000 pay rise.

Do you think the stars are worth such inflated fees? Would you rather they were paid highly than risk the actors leaving the show, or are they just plain greedy? Tell us what you think. HAVE YOUR SAY Pay them whatever the free market economy demands, and then tax the hell out of them! This way it reduces the tax burden on the lowest paid members of society.
John Atkins, Singapore

One does not have to watch television so why should anyone care? The more mass pulp being produced, the more insignificant and quickly forgotten all these people will become, despite their money.
James, UK



Friends was clapped out years ago. If the greedy cast want even more money, sack the lot of them and give some new actors and writers a chance

Adam Webb, UK
An actor has no idea how long their popularity will last. I respect their right to ask for as much as they can get while they can. On the flip side of the coin, the studios have the right to not pay the high prices.
B. McLucas, USA

Friends was clapped out years ago. If the greedy cast want even more money, sack the lot of them and give some new actors and writers a chance.
Adam Webb, UK

Does it seem reasonable that teachers who are trying to produce a better nation by educating our young, and the police who sometimes put their lives on the line to protect us, should get paid LESS than a bunch of people who prance around in front of the screens sometimes wearing nothing but a false grin, and destroying moral values on the way?
Bassam Sulaiman, Kuwait

Some people seem to be talking about a free market economy, as if it actually exists in the real world. The reality is there are powerful media conglomerates who hold monopolistic powers. There are barriers to entry into the market (costs of setting up a production company etc). Also popular tastes are manipulated through advertising by these monopolistic powers. The market, as any economist, will tell you is not truly free.
Ed Manning, UK

Of course the actors have the right to be paid what they and the people employing them think they are worth. However, I do think it is our moral responsibility to tax them to hell and pass that back to the poor.
Toby, UK

Who would work for less than their employer offers them? Good luck to them.
G J, EU



You can't really lay the blame for civil wars, consequent famines and irresponsible acts of government at the feet of these five individuals

Jean-Marc Watson, UK
It makes me sick to see actors and actresses, talented or not, paid so much for doing so little. It is a disgrace when you consider that there are people slogging their guts out in really horrible jobs and only getting paid a minimum wage of 3.70 per hour while these idiots along with footballers and other people who think they're something special pick up phenomenal amounts.
Kevin Hogan, England

"Friends" is a globally successful programme, and as such the stars of the show form the main constituent part of that success. Why shouldn't their salaries reflect the popularity of the show, and subsequent revenue brought in? You can't really lay the blame for civil wars, consequent famines and irresponsible acts of government at the feet of these five individuals. America is as far removed from a socialist state as you can get, so don't expect them to live by socialist maxims and rules.
Jean-Marc Watson, UK

I hate the programme, where a bunch of clubbed together rejects move from self-induced crisis, to self-induced crisis. However, how many of you pointing out the number starving people on the African continent would honestly stop and say "no thank you, they need it more than I do", if you were able to demand that much in wages?
Jennifer, Singapore



We wonder why our society is such a mess when we're paying individuals a ludicrous amount of money for simply acting

Catherine, USA
I could never figure out how 'Seinfeld' could think he was worth one million dollars for each weekly programme in his TV show. He probably laughed all the way to the bank because he was never funny or really talented in my opinion. I tried to watch him and I would ask myself how in the world can this guy get paid at all? My neighbour's dog is funnier and works for nothing.
Dave Adams, USA

I found it quite interesting that the article about how much these people get paid and the article about the starving children in Ethiopia were side by side. I don't think that's a coincidence. We wonder why our society is such a mess when we're paying individuals a ludicrous amount of money for simply acting.
Catherine, USA

I think this is just disgusting. How can some one get paid that much for spending a day on a set, where his/her food is supplied, people do everything for them and they can get the best things in life for virtually nothing? Meanwhile a mother in the Horn of Africa sees her entire family die of starvation because she can not come up with enough money for food.
Jose Fernandez, Netherlands

When will people understand these three simple words - FREE MARKET ECONOMY. Is it so hard or are you simply stupid?
Amoroso, Kenya

It's a free market economy ... good luck to them!
Mark M. Newdick, USA/UK

Let's face it. If the companies that produce these programs can afford to pay wages like these, how much are THEY making per show? I think the cast should get as much as they can from it, after all, without them, there is no program.
JP, UK



People are never truly happy, they would always want more.

Peter Redding, UK
People are never truly happy, they would always want more. As much as I would like to say the cast of Friends are doing wrong, I can't because I would do the same in their position. They are just acting human.
Peter Redding, UK

Why not? After all by staying with the programme for so long they are ruining any other chances they may have, since they will be typecast. Chandler will always be Chandler!
Andrew Miles, England

They are getting paid far too much for just acting in a series. If they threatened the producers with strike action, then the producers should have just ended the series. These new agreements mean that the actors will be able to hold them to ransom in the future
Mal, England



The money seems like a lot, but when you think about how movie stars make millions upon millions for a couple of months work, this doesn't seem so bad.

Paul Charters, England
The money seems like a lot, but when you think about how movie stars make millions upon millions for a couple of months work, this doesn't seem so bad. If they are worth that much, then good luck to them, I just hope that Friends lightens up a little bit and becomes a bit more like the second series. Its starting to turn into a thirties program, which is fine, but its slowly losing the flavour that we all know and love so well.
Paul Charters, England

As a desperately jealous pauper my immediate reaction is to say that their salaries are ludicrously high. But these individuals are the reason that their programmes are so popular. The programmes raise ridiculous amounts of revenue and I would rather that this money went to the hands of my favourite actor or writer rather than just lining the pockets of some producer.
Mariska, England

I think the actors deserve every penny. They are so natural at what they do and make me laugh all the time. I wonder if I could get a part in Friends!!
Tonia, England



Their audacity in demanding such a figure is breathtaking, but more fool Warner Brothers for paying it! It's the funniest joke Friends has ever come up with.

Alex Banks,Wales
I admit that the price per episode is indeed staggering and at first makes one inclined to shudder at the thought of someone being paid so much to do seemingly so little. However, Friends is a multi-million pound industry in itself. When you think that they were only being paid 40,000 per episode when the programme generates so much more money in proportion, all they are really doing is getting paid what they are worth.
J. Hayes, UK

I don't think it really matters what they get paid. Let's face it, if the cost of the series was too high to make it financially viable then the TV company would pull the plug. However the politics of envy always cause some to bleat about nothing.
Graham McDermott, Scotland

Friends is one the best sitcoms ever made without a doubt, but will the writers, set designers, make up artists etc get the same pay deal as the stars! I think not. At the end of the day a whole team is involved in putting this sitcom together.
Stefanie, England

Their audacity in demanding such a figure is breathtaking, but more fool Warner Brothers for paying it! It's the funniest joke Friends has ever come up with!
Alex Banks, Wales

I would rather see the money go to the people who are making me laugh the (actors) instead of the faceless TV companies. Why do we always have to criticise people's success instead of letting them enjoy it?
JJ, UK


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15 May 00 | Entertainment
Friends stars sign $40m deal
23 Dec 99 | Entertainment
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