Why are the salaries of entertainers/athletes etc. public knowledge?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mitty, May 20, 2002.

  1. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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    I have to ask.

    I understand why, for instance, the CEO of a publicly traded corporation or a politician has his or her salary as public knowledge, but why is it anyone's business what Nicholas Cage makes per movie? Or the exact details of A-Rod's deal?

    I know my own pay statements say quite clearly "Private and Confidential."

    I also understand that since movie studios and baseball teams are also (in most cases) publicly held corporations, but why is the salary of each individual who works for or has a contract with any of these entities become public knowledge? How is this different than the company I work for making my "Private and Confidential" salary information public (not that anyone would care) as opposed to simply making public their salaries paid in total.

    In the case of entertainers, maybe it's one of those things that they voluntarily share, like an ego thing, but I don't honestly know. Or is this simply information that "slips through the cracks?"

    Does anyone know why this is? 'Cause I tell ya, the world would sure be a better place if Yankee fans didn't know how much money Giambi earned and used it as ammo to boo him every time he went 0 for 4. Just as an example.
     
  2. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

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    In the case of entertainers, maybe it's one of those things that they voluntarily share, like an ego thing, but I don't honestly know. Or is this simply information that "slips through the cracks?"

    A bit of both. With movie stars, how much one makes shows the world how big of a star you are, and greatly influences what roles you might be offered in the future. If the film companies think you can draw big crowds, then you are more likely to get scripts and other goodies thrown your way.

    Likewise MLB, the NBA and several other sporting organizations do not publish contract information relating to their players. Rather its the agents and players themselves that authorize the release of such information. And the reason is also the same. Big salaries mean you have made it. Baseball players want to be famous, and thus let the world know how much they are worth.

    But as you said, this does have the possibility of backfiring. An actor who makes 20 million for a film isn't likely to be boo'd if they make a dud movie, but theaters will drop them much more quickly.

    Likewise athletes who's potential suddenly drops are quickly traded if their salaries and egos become too inflated.
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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  4. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    By publishing salaries it helps push the envelope for future negotiations. Arnie hears that Jim Carrey made $20 Mil on his last pic so Arnie asks for $20 Mil, the use of a private jet and points of the gross. Its a spiral up in salary that they want to keep going and going.

    Patrick
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I still don't really understand why salaries should be so high for professional athletes. They are doing what they love, so why should they get such astronomical payment? Nobody paid them when they were in little league or high school basket ball.

    To me it encourages kids to shoot for it for the money, not for the reason they started playing a particular sport.

    I would get in a car and race for enough to live comfortably, and modestly on because I LOVE it.
     
  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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  7. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Jack's right...the public is willing to pay their salaries. A good case can be made that this is part of human nature. Always has been, always will be.

    Think of all the gifts (and women) that a "medicine man" in a tribe gets...same thing!
     
  8. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I think only in the US are a person's salaries so guarded. My college German professor said it wouldn't be uncommon for a total stranger to ask how much you make during an idle chat, if they wanna know they'll ask lol

    least that's what I'm told. never been there
     
  9. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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  10. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

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    Why are their salaries so high? hmmmm......difficult to justify them I suppose. I'm a professional actor, but for the stage, where the salaries are not as high..... in my end of the biz, the jacked up salary means some security in the long time between jobs....Only a small percentage of the actors in my union work during any fiscal year........but do I understand a movie/tv star's millions? um.........not YET anyway. I have also been a teacher, and that is the smallest salary I ever made. Twisted, isn't it? I guess the movie stars and athletes get that much because......they can. Build the salary, and they will pay.
     
  11. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

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    Very highly paid actors and athletes earn more money for the people that pay them those salaries otherwise they would not get paid what they get paid. Forbes had an interesting artilce on Michael Jordan estimating that he contributed about a billion $, to the economy.
     

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