Ellen Pompeo hasn't said much in the opening days of the strike initiated by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). But, as the adage goes, a picture is worth a whole lotta words.
The Grey's Anatomy star has slammed Netflix by posting a meme from a season 2 episode of the series in which her character Dr. Meredith Grey operates on a man with a bomb in his chest. The image shows Meredith standing with her arms crossed, and the text reads: "Me when there's a [bomb emoji] in the chest cavity." Above that, Pompeo wrote, "Also me when @netflix doesn't pay actors residuals. Holla. Let's talk."
Residuals paid to talent for projects licensed to streamers like Netflix or Hulu come from the studios that produce the show or movie, while Netflix pays the studio. Yet that deal, as it stands now, is one of the major issues at play in the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes. The unions are looking for streamers to pay talent residuals as well.
Several actors have spoken out on the subject, highlighting the low residual payments they have received from streaming services. Mandy Moore says her residuals from This Is Us streaming on Hulu have been as low as a penny. Some of the stars of Netflix's Orange Is the New Black have also opened up about their low compensation and residuals, with actor Kimiko Glenn sharing a video of one royalty payment that totaled $27.30.
Grey's Anatomy has been a successful addition to Netflix. The Shonda Rhimes drama cracked the top 15 on the list of the biggest streaming shows in 2022 among all platforms, according to Nielsen. That placed it above hits like Criminal Minds, The Simpsons, Cobra Kai, and Seinfeld. Neilsen reports that the series was viewed for more than 26.8 billion minutes last year.