"It is easier to build a strong child than to repair a broken man." - Frederick Douglass

‘Friday’ Actors Getting Fair Pay

Courtesy of MacQ (Flickr CC0)

Recently, the internet had been buzzing with rumors that actors in the movie “Friday” were not getting fair pay. The 1995 blockbuster film had a budget of nearly $3 million, and many actors in the film were paid according to scale. In the original “Friday”, Faizon Love played the character “Big Worm”, the neighborhood dope boy who had “Smokie”, played by Chris Tucker, “hemmed up” for $200.

The iconic role played by Love took no more than one to two days to film, and his payout for the role was $2,500.  “See, it wasn’t really about the money then,” replied Love.  “I got to say I’m working, pay my rent, I ain’t out in the street doing no bulls—t…it wasn’t iconic when we did it.”

When asked about his return to star in the sequels, he replied “They wanted to give me double-scale. The scale was $2,500, right. So that was $5,000.” Love turned down the opportunity to be featured in the sequels stating that the pay “was simply not enough to reprise his role,” according to Yahoo! News.

He did go on to say that he would be willing to play the role of “Big Worm” if there were a last “Friday” movie, even if there was no pay at all. “If Cube said, ‘Faizon, there’s no money. I need you to do this.’ I would have to do it on GP because it was that character that brought me into the game heavy.” However, some viewers of the interview with Faizon Love were displeased to know about the pay scale for this movie.

Courtesy of MacQ (Flickr CC0)

Many fans of “Friday” have gone to Twitter to express their sentiments on whether or not the actors were in fact getting fair pay, including one user who accused Ice Cube, the writer and director of the “Friday Franchise” movies, of “robbing his own people.” Infuriated, Cube took to Twitter to give his response: “I didn’t rob no f****n body. The 1995 Friday movie cost $2.3m to make. Shot it in 20 days. Fazion worked 1 day, maybe 2. All the actors got paid scale to do the movie. They could’ve simply said “No” but they didn’t. So miss me with that sh*t.”

On the other hand, the “Friday Franchise” did not hold back on its offer to actor Chris Tucker, who played Smokie, to reprise his role in the sequels.

“We were ready to pay Chris Tucker $10-12m to do Next Friday but he turned us down for religious reasons,” said Cube. After filming the original movie, Tucker gave his life to Christ and refused to play roles that depicted him cursing and smoking weed on camera. The rumors that Chris Tucker was one of many actors who were not getting fair pay for their roles in the “Friday Franchise”, are simply untrue. In fact, each actor in the movie was paid according to the time spent working on the film and the allotted budget to complete the film.

The following sequels, “Next Friday” and “Friday After Next,” went on to make $59,675,307 and $33,526,835 respectively, even though many actors in the original film, like Faizon Love and Chris Tucker, were not featured. With larger budgets, actors in the sequels were offered more money for their roles, including John Witherspoon, who was paid $1 million for his role in “Friday After Next.”

The idea that “Friday” actors were not paid fairly is inconsistent with the reality of the budget pay scales and the roles portrayed by actors. Films with low budgets do not have the funds to pay high salaries, and that is something actors agree to when they accept the roles.

Decades after the original “Friday” film was featured, there is still speculation on what Ice Cube paid his actors to star in his movies. What is notable is the fact that many of the actors in his films returned for the sequel as well as the second sequel.

The public is hoping for another addition to the Friday Franchise, as these three movies are still high on the list of all-time faves. Since the pay scale was acceptable for the returning actors, who also became more famous for their roles in the movies, fans and viewers of these movies should pay less attention to the fairness in pay and allow themselves to enjoy what is now considered to be a classic movie trilogy.

Written by Hyleia Kidd
Edit by Sheena Robertson

Hot New Hip Hop: Ice Cube Reveals Real Reason Chris Tucker Quit “Friday” Franchise, Claps Back At Faizon Love: by Alex Zidel
Yahoo! News: ‘It Wasn’t Iconic When We Did It’: Faizon Love Reveals He Turned Down Reprising His Role as Big Worm After Only Making $2,500 In ‘Friday’: by Angelina Velasquez
Hot 97: Ice Cube Claps Back After Faizon Love Reveals His Pay For His Role in ‘Friday’: ‘I Didn’t F*cking Rob Anyone’: by Tai Perkins
The Numbers: Box Office History for Friday Movies

Images Courtesy of MacQ’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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