Breaking Bad Reunion 2023: Cast Backs SAG-AFTRA & WGA Strike – Streaming Pay Controversy Explained

When different television universes come together for a shared purpose or mission, it’s almost certain to capture the interest of many. This past Tuesday, a large number of fans, along with several reporters, were present to see a memorable gathering of famous faces. This reunion not only brought back a flood of memories for many but also delivered a strong and impactful message for all to hear.

A Striking Reunion

Members from the widely-loved TV series Breaking Bad came together outside the well-known Sony Pictures Studios. They didn’t gather for the purpose of going through a new script or simply catching up with each other. In a show of unity, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Jesse Plemons, Betsy Brandt, and several other important members of the cast stood firmly on the picket line. They were there to openly express their backing and support for the efforts of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) during their ongoing strikes.

Not Enemies but Equal Partners

Addressing the gathered audience, Bryan Cranston, famously known as Walter White, stood out as a prominent figure. Throughout his impressive career, he has taken on many roles that have left a lasting impression on audiences around the world. On this occasion, he wanted to share the feelings and intentions behind the ongoing strike.

Bryan Cranston made a profound statement to the audience, saying, “We’re not pointing fingers or making [the studios and streamers] out to be the bad guys. They are not our adversaries or villains.” His words were filled with optimism and a sense of unity. Cranston continued, “These studios and streaming platforms are made up of people we’ve worked with before, and undoubtedly, we’ll be collaborating with them again in the future. What we really want is for them to understand our perspective, recognize the importance of fair treatment, and then sit down with us for an open conversation.”

So, what is this all about? At the core of this issue is the ongoing debate about proper pay and representation in a film and television world that’s changing faster than ever due to advancements in technology. Talks between SAG-AFTRA and the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have hit a roadblock.

As streaming services like Netflix, Disney, and Sony continue to redefine the landscape of modern entertainment, the age-old discussions about how actors and writers should be compensated are taking on new forms and challenges. This evolving environment has brought to light fresh disputes and concerns in the ever-changing world of showbiz.

Streaming Success Vs. Actors’ Paychecks

The central problem is deeply rooted in the residuals coming from streaming platforms. In a world where traditional forms of media are battling with the rapidly growing popularity of streaming, the actors who bring our favorite characters to life are striving to get the part of the income that they believe they rightly deserve. One such actor is Aaron Paul, who gave life to the much-loved character of Jesse Pinkman.

The #BreakingBad team @BryanCranston, @AaronPaul_8, @Betsy_Brandt, @PeterGould Jesse Plemons and more come together to picket outside the Sony lot for the #ActorsStrike and #WritersStrike

— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) August 29, 2023

He particularly pointed out the notable success of ‘Breaking Bad’ on platforms like Netflix. Aaron Paul expressed his feelings strongly, saying, “It’s insane.” He went on to emphasize, “I don’t receive any portion of the earnings from Netflix for Breaking Bad. This seems absolutely crazy to me. My feeling is that many of these streaming services are aware that they have been paying less than what’s due to people for their contributions. It’s high time they step up and pay what’s right.”

The show Breaking Bad concluded in 2013, but even today, it enjoys soaring popularity. The series’ success is evident, especially when we look at spin-offs like El Camino and Better Call Saul. Given this background, it’s clear why Aaron Paul’s words and worries about compensation strike a chord with many.

A Trend of Unity

It’s not just the Breaking Bad family that’s rallying together. Another fan-favorite, Parks and Recreation, had its cast, including the delightful miniature horse Li’l Sebastian, reunite in solidarity earlier this month.

In times like these, when shows that have long since wrapped up still manage to unite their cast for a cause, it serves as a testament to the bonds formed on set and the larger issues at stake in the entertainment industry. Whether it’s about fair pay, working conditions, or technological implications, these actors prove that there’s strength in numbers. And when those numbers are from some of our most beloved series, the world is sure to take notice.