‘Friends’ Stars Threatened to Boycott the Show Unless Their Salaries Were All Equal

by Jeremy Spirogis
Cast of Friends

They weren’t kidding once they mentioned, “I’ll be there for you,” on Friends.

When it got here to selling wage equality, Jennifer Aniston (Rachel Green) and David Schwimmer (Ross Geller) threatened to boycott filming if their 4 co-stars didn’t obtain equal compensation. They even accepted decrease pay to make it occur.

All six cast
began out making the identical quantity. But as issues modified on the
present, so did the pay charge. Aniston and Schwimmer weren’t OK with it.

Cast of Friends
Cast of ‘Friends’ | NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal through Getty Images

RELATED: Who Is the Richest Cast Member of ‘Friends?’ How Much Each Star Is Worth Today and How They Made Their Money

Fans grew to become obsessive about the Ross and Rachel storyline

There’s been loads of protection about the
pay gap
between genders. However, one lesser know pay disparity happens
between actors with completely different ranges of recognition.

When Friends started, Aniston, Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe Buffay), Matt LeBlanc (Joey Tribbiani), Matthew Perry (Chandler Bing), and Courteney Cox (Monica Geller) all made the identical quantity per episode: $22,500. That’s not a small quantity by any stretch, but it surely was about to extend — by rather a lot.

Soon after Ross
and Rachel
began relationship on the present, followers began loving them greater than the
different 4 characters. And that led to pay will increase, however just for Aniston and

The ‘Friends’ forged needed to renegotiate for equal pay

Most actors and actresses would chalk up the pay inequality
to the character of the business. But the 2 stars didn’t agree with being paid
otherwise for doing the identical job.

“I’m conscious that I’ve had a fairly straightforward time when it comes to my expertise within the business. But even again on Friends, it wasn’t a lot about ladies being paid the identical as males – among the ladies have been being paid extra,” Aniston informed Radio Times.

She and Schwimmer weren’t keen to just accept that distinction.
In 1996, the forged fashioned a strong partnership and threatened “to not present up for
the taping or the season’s new exhibits” if the community wouldn’t negotiate, Standard

“[The negotiations were] extra about, ‘We’re doing equal work
and all of us should be compensated in the identical approach,’” Aniston mentioned. “I
wouldn’t really feel good going to work figuring out somebody was getting x quantity and I used to be
getting one thing larger.”

Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer took voluntary pay cuts

Even although the community wasn’t keen to pay the opposite 4 actors extra money, the castmates did come to an settlement when Schwimmer and Aniston determined to take a pay minimize. The reported pay charge for all six predominant characters throughout season three was $75,000 per episode.

And ultimately, these robust negotiations paid off. All six lead actors on Friends wound up making the identical quantity — $1 million per episode — on the peak of the present’s reputation throughout seasons 9 and 10.

That works out to $45,000 per minute of airtime. The Friends stars are among the top-paid sitcom stars ever, although they don’t make as a lot because the actors on The Big Bang Theory (who don’t all make the identical wage).

No surprise the Friends forged members are pals in actual life, too. They’ve all the time regarded out for one another on-screen and off.

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