On My Block is the most binge-watched show of 2018. It revolves around four teenagers of color in a coming-of-age story filled with tragedy, romance, gang violence and poverty in South Central Los Angeles. The show has a large audience and has been receiving great reviews.
Despite the show’s popularity, the four main stars of the show – Sierra Capri, Jason Genao, Brett Gray, and Diego Tinoco – have been negotiating parity, or equal pay, with Netflix since May. Originally, the cast received $20,000 per episode for the first two seasons. They want $218,000 per episode. Netflix has countered with a raise to $40,000 per episode.
And here’s where the problem starts.
Dylan Minnette, who plays the Caucasian lead in the Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why, received a pay raise from $80,000 to $200,000 before season three of the show. His other co-stars, some of whom are admittedly non-white, received a pay raise from $20,000 to $135,000. The question is: Why is the all-black-and-Hispanic cast of On My Block being paid less than the predominantly white cast of 13 Reasons Why?
Some might argue that 13 Reasons Why is way more successful in terms of viewership, which is true. However, the second season of On My Block lured in a significant amount of viewers to the point that it received a higher rating on Rotten Tomatoes with a whopping 97% compared to the 52% for 13 Reasons Why.
Capri, Genao, Gray and Tinoco deserve the pay raise, especially since the cast of 13 Reasons Why received pay raises after successful renegotiations of their contracts and are expecting to receive a higher salary for season four.
Unfortunately, the stars of On My Block are not the first people of color who have experienced unnecessary and unequal pay. White men have out-earned black and Hispanic men and women of all races. Black men earn only 73% of and Hispanic men only earn 69% of what white men earn. And it’s worse for women of color. Full time working Latinas make only 54 cents to every one dollar a Caucasian man makes. They have to work 22 months in a 12-month calendar year to make the same amount of money as their white male counterparts. Black women who work full time as well make 63 cents for every one dollar a white man makes, which accounts for $21,001 being lost a year.
It is the year 2019 and people of color should not have to ask, demand or negotiate equal pay. As a society, we owe it to underpaid non-white people to keep fighting until parity among the races is the norm.
Featured Image via Mitu