Gina Yashere, who plays Kemi in the CBS sitcom Bob Hearts Abishola, is breaking down the reasons why actors and writers have gone on strike.
The comedian took to Instagram to share a video where she points out the reasons for the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strike. One of the first reasons she cites is healthcare explaining that “to qualify for healthcare you have to earn over $26,000,” noting that “87% of actors working in this industry in America do not earn enough to qualify for healthcare.”
“The middle streets and the Tom Cruise’s are 0.2% of all actors working in this industry today,” she added.
Yashere said that writers have to earn $40k a year to qualify for healthcare benefits but 92% of writers don’t earn enough to get those benefits.
“Did you know there are people within these networks who are being paid more money for scheduling TV shows than the people that actually created the TV shows that they’re scheduling? It’s nonsensical,” she noted.
Yashere acknowledged those detractors asking why she’s complaining when she’s doing well, adding, “for those of us who are more fortunate and have been able to make a decent living in this industry, it’s up to us to stand up for those of us that aren’t.”
She continued, “I’ve been in that position. I’ve done shows for these streamers and have been sent a residual check for 37 cents. Let me know in the comments what you can get in a grocery store for 37 cents. In fact, if you got a check for 37 cents, would you put gas in your car to drive down to the bank to put that said check in? I think not, I think not.”
Yashere said she’s “only been making a decent living from television in the last four years — at 50. That’s how long it took me as a Black woman to get into this industry. And you know what happens if we lose this battle, we’ll be right back out that door, because the only people that will be able to afford to be in this industry will be white tech Bros and trust fund babies. All other voices will be lost.”
“These studios would have you guys believing that we’re being greedy, and unrealistic. What’s greedy and unrealistic is six people earning $700 million between them having created nothing and everybody else in the industry struggling to pay their rent. That’s greedy and unrealistic,” she said.
“And those heartless executives who let slip that they’re going to string the strike along until we start losing our houses and apartments… Tctors and writers have been struggling for the longest. They’ve been doing two and three jobs. They’ve been working in bars and Target and driving Ubers because they’ve been unable to make a living wage from the vocation that they chose because of your corporate greed. So if you think that actors and writers are going to buckle at the first sign of difficulty because it’s the first we’ve ever encountered. Oh, you’re in for a big fucking surprise.”
Yashere is in the middle of her comedy tour The Woman King of Comedy with her next show set for Saturday, July 22 in Detroit. Fans in LA can catch the tour on August 19 when she makes a stop at the Regent Theater.
Watch the complete video below.