13 Reasons Why’s Tommy Dorfman Is The Latest Star To Expose Their Shit Salary & Work Conditions

Tommy Dorfman is the latest celebrity to expose the shithouse salary she was copping while starring on one of the biggest Netflix series amid the SAG-AFTRA actors strike.

“My earnings for the entire first season of 13 reasons why were USD$29,953.24 (AUD$44,293.14) prior to agency and manager fees (20%) and taxes,” Dorfman wrote on Threads. “Eight episodes over six months.”

Dorfman said that despite working crazy hours around the clock and being a main character on the show, she was up against it from the beginning.

“I did all of the promo and had KEY ART for this show, flew round trip from NYC to SF to shoot for every episode, was kept for days without pay/working. I barely qualified for insurance.

“Within the first 28 days of release, the show’s Season One garnered a total of 476 million view hours. This is why we strike.”

By now, you would have heard that the American actors’ union SAG-AFTRA has officially joined the Writers Guild Of America (WGA) on strike.
With all 160,000 members of SAG-AFTRA and approximately 20,000 members of WGA standing united at the picket line together, it’s a huge fkn deal and the first time in 63 years that both unions have united to strike at the same time.

In short, the strike brings American film and scripted television to a complete standstill but we’ll also feel those effects internationally.

The SAG-AFTRA strike began on July 14, and the guidelines require all members to stop work on set, decline interviews, stop promoting projects, and decline attending conventions, award shows or premieres which is why we saw the cast of Oppenheimer walk out of the film’s premiere when the strike was confirmed.

Both actors and writers are striking in response to a few issues including the use of AI, but the main one is the lack of residuals that they’re earning through streaming platforms.

Currently, companies pay less residuals for streaming shows than they do for big network shows broadcast on TV. While it made sense years ago when every man and his dog was sitting down to watch the latest episode of Lost, these days most shows are watched through streaming platforms. Because these platforms don’t release the official numbers of how many people are tuning in, we’re not able to accurately measure a show’s success. And the way it stands now, writers only get a set amount regardless of how well the show does anyway.

That’s great for when the show is a flop, but not so great if it goes on to be a huge success. After all, the people who wrote the goddamn show should also receive a slice of the pie from its success – not just the head honchos in the board room.

Meanwhile, actors usually have a base of residual payments from television which comes from reruns, syndication, and distribution worldwide. But on streaming, residuals aren’t calculated by how many times viewers watch the show but really a percentage of the licensing fee.

Complicated? Absolutely.

Plus, with shorter seasons of shows and longer hiatus’ between seasons, actors are generally getting less work and waiting in limbo to find out the fate of their character, preventing them from seeking other roles.

If you’re still confused, we’ve already done a more comprehensive breakdown of the actor’s strike and writers’ strike to clear things up.

With the glitz and glam surrounding Hollywood and the entertainment industry in general, actors have taken to social media to showcase the reality of their roles and income.

Back in 2020, Orange Is The New Black star Kimiko Glenn shared a TikTok video showing her residual payments from the hugely successful Netflix show. In light of the strike, she reshared the video and it prompted a huge response from normies and fellow actors alike.

In the vid, it shows her opening up a residuals letter from SAG-AFTRA listing dozens of episodes from the show.

“Oh my god I’m about to be so rich,” she said, until the camera pans to the total amount of USD $27.30 ($40AUD).

“WHAT!?” she exclaimed.

What, indeed.

In a video posted on Sunday, she explained how even though she was paid upfront for her role, the amount they were paid doesn’t come close to the money Netflix raked in for their mega-successful show.

“Whether or not we were paid upfront, that shit lives on. My tits live on in perpetuity, I deserve to get paid for as many fucking streams as that shit gets. Second of all, we did not get paid very well ever,” she said.

“People were bartenders, people had their second jobs still. They were fucking famous as shit, internationally famous, and couldn’t go outside [without being recognised] but had to keep their second jobs because they couldn’t [afford] not to. They couldn’t afford cabs to set.”

Glenn’s costars backed up her claim in an article by The New Yorker with many feeling resentment towards the show for the lack of compensation despite its immense success.

Orange Is The New Black stars aren’t the only ones speaking out, either.

After receiving some negative comments about the strike, Aussie actor Luke Cook, who now lives in LA, shared a bunch of videos of his professional realities. Luke has been featured in streaming shows such as The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Dynasty, and Dollface but still works as a fitness instructor to pay the bills.

“I am not a millionaire. I drive a 2010 Mazda S3. My previous car was a 2003 Ford Torris. 95 per cent of the actors in SAG are not millionaires,” he said, explaining how as a guest star or co-star actor, the pay leaves a lot to be desired.

“They put me on a billboard at Sunset [Boulevard] and you know how much they paid me? Zero. The amount they paid me for the show is not much better. I live in Los Angeles and I have two kids. The amount they paid me per episode, which is two weeks of work, is $7500. 

“This strike is not about millionaires. As I said, 95 per cent of SAG actors cannot survive by just doing this job.

“If you see me on TV, I shouldn’t have to have two side jobs just to survive.”

And if you thought it stopped there, it doesn’t.

Sean Gunn, AKA Kirk from Gilmore Girls, has spoken out about why he’s currently striking with his fellow actors and writers. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that took place on the picket line, he told the publication that he sees basically no revenue from the hugely successful show, which is licensed to the streaming platform by Warner Bros. Discovery.

“I was on a television show called Gilmore Girls for a long time that has brought in massive profits for Netflix,” he explained.

“It has been one of their most popular shows for a very long time, over a decade. It gets streamed over and over and over again, and I see almost none of the revenue that comes into that.”

And just to drive the point home, here’s a bunch of other huge celebs backing the strikes.


All work deserves to be paid fairly. Acting seems flashy, glamorous, and fun, but the perks don’t make up for the lack of a fair wage.