Some of the most successful and favorite actors of today’s film industries are children. These young and talented individuals have helped to shape some of the greatest movies of all time. Though their years of experience may fall short compared to their adult co-stars, they do more than their part to contribute to a strong production. While these child stars are making more money than your average youngster, most of the time there is a major gap in pay between them and adult actors.
Recently, young actors and actresses have begun opening up about the pay gap between them and their elder costars. Though not in the movie business, the cast of the TV series Modern Family has been the center of controversy when it comes to pay gaps between adults and children. This was previously a hot-button issue for the show, as the then-child actors of the show wanted to receive the same percent pay increase as the adults were getting. The issue re-surfaced once again, earlier this year when the adults all signed two-year contracts with 20th Century Fox TV (which included a salary increase) and the children did not. Now that all the main “younger” cast members are legal adults, they want their paychecks to reflect this milestone. Though they still are not making as much as their older castmates, they were locked in for another 2 years with the show. This contract also included a significant raise in their per episode salary.
The young actors of Modern Family brought light to what many were unaware of and that is the major pay gap between child and adult actors. A few years ago, the average salary of a child star on a Disney or Nickelodeon show was around $20,000 per episode. However, since the issue of pay gaps has become a common trend in Hollywood, children are often making closer to $80,00-$100,000 per episode. In most cases, these are actors whose show is award-winning and has a large audience. This, compared to adult actors, who sometimes can average as much as $500,000 per episode.
Pay gaps in the entertainment industry are something that will likely be debated for many years to come. As young actors and actresses bring their thoughts and stories to light it is easy to see their frustrations with production companies. Just as women are standing up for equal pay, children who work hard at their job should also receive respectable compensation.