Stand-up comic Amy Schumer made headlines in Variety, this week, for her re-negotiations with Netflix over her recent comedy special, The Leather Special.
It initially garnered her a “mere” $11 million, while, Variety reported, comedians “Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle were given $20 million per special as part of their deals with Netflix,” according to a summary at Vulture.com.* “Schumer then went back and negotiated for ‘significantly more compensation,’” scuttlebutt has it.
After-the-contract negotiations seem weird to me . . . almost . . . indecent.
But then, this might be apt, considering Schumer’s characteristic form of humor, which is almost relentlessly of an intimate sexual nature. Like many another Netflix watcher, I could not finish her special. “Indecent” is the nice word for it.**
The special was so relentlessly panned that Netflix created a new feedback system to discourage viewers from leaving severely negative criticisms and evaluations. It was a big deal months back.
So why did she think she could get more? Though she now denies it, the early reports said she demanded some sort of parity with Rock and Chappelle. And that “equal pay” for “equal work” ethic does seem to be behind the very idea of her ex post negotiating strategy.
The thing is, Rock and Chappelle got more money, obviously, because their ability to make money for their venues is amply proven. Schumer, though she is not without talent and definitely has her partisans, is not as big an audience draw.
Like wages in the normal labor market, it’s about productivity.
And you’d have to pay me to watch The Leather Special in its entirety.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
* Variety is behind a paywall. I’m quoting Vulture because, like any good scavenger, I’m not paying for Variety.
** No idea whether I would have made it through a special with Chris Rock or Dave Chappelle. I get the impression I’m not in the target audience.