Esoteric Dissertations from a One-Track Mind

May 18, 2007

Actors (or Actresses) are They Paid Too Much?

Filed under: capitalism — codesmithy @ 5:58 am

Digg had a story about Bruce Willis telling Hollywood to shut-up. I don’t have a particular opinion about the statement one way or another. It is an actors or actresses prerogative on what they want to do with their fame. Because they do have fame, they have the ability to affect more people with their opinions. If an actor or actress feels strongly about a particular cause, then they can use their fame to spot-light it. On the other side, organizations seeking to gain attention on a particular topic find it profitable to bring celebrities into their cause for that very reason.

Some find it annoying since celebrities who bring the issues to the table are not necessarily the most informed. Often times celebrities are downright hypocritical. For example: “Two of the proponents of the “Vote or Die” campaign did not even bother to vote in the 2004 election. Paris Hilton and Ludacris didn’t register to vote.” from Wikipedia.

The third reason is cultural. There seems to be some resentment towards people expressing liberal agendas. I don’t want to dig to deeply into the topic because it would be a post in and of itself, and secondly because I don’t think I completely understand it.

However, some of the comments on digg were expressing the opinion that actors and actresses are paid too much, which strikes me as odd. How do you determine if someone is paid too much? I would guess if the movie didn’t make back what it took to produce it. It seems like free market would correct for that very quickly. I mean, there seems to be no shortage of people who would be willing to be a star in a film. If a movie studio thought it could make more money by reducing production costs on actors and actresses, I think it would honestly try. I think the reason that it doesn’t is because the distribution costs are so low, it is worth paying Bruce Willis 100 million dollars because without him, the film would make substantially less.

So, it those terms, it seems like actors or actresses are compensated correctly for what they bring to the table. It probably isn’t the toughest job to do in the world, but it definitely takes talent and charisma which apparently not everyone has.

I guess the disconnect is when a blue-collar mom or dad wants to take his family out to a movie and finds that it is tough to afford. In actuality, this is an indictment of capitalism, since the free market prices everything to make the maximum amount of profit. In fact, saying Bruce Willis is overpaid, or any actor or actress is overpaid, is anti-capitalist. They represent the exceptional success people can achieve in the capitalist system using their unique talents. They are the big winners of capitalism, the poster-children if you will. It is capitalism and the free market working at its finest. It just strikes me as odd that anyone would criticize the amount actors or actresses are paid, when it is duly earned. For all my criticisms of capitalism, this is one of those cases where I see nothing but a triumph.


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