'You would die.' This Orange is the New Black actor just shared her salary, and it's dire.

Orange is the New Black was a series that paved the way for streaming platforms.

Debuting as one of the first Original Series that Netflix launched, for many people Orange is the New Black is what put the streaming site on the map, signalling a pivotal shift from prestige storytelling being gate kept by the likes of HBO to being available online. 

The dark comedy set in a women's prison featured an almost all-female ensemble with Taylor Schilling, Natasha Lyonne, Uzo Aduba, Danielle Brooks, Jackie Cruz and Laverne Cox among the cast. 

Watch the trailer for Orange is the New Black here. Post continues after video. 

Video via Netflix.

Considering just how huge OITNB was during its time airing from 2013 to 2019 on Netflix, one would think that the cast's salaries reflected its success. 

Well, apparently not. 

Kimiko Glenn played Brook Soso on the show for 44 episodes and she's telling all about what she was paid while working on the Netflix series. 

The actor's comments come as SAG-AFTRA, a union representing about 160,000 Hollywood actors, has gone on strike. The strike coincides with the Hollywood writers' strike, which means that for the first time in more than 60 years, most film and television productions have stopped completely for the foreseeable future. 

Actors on strike are calling for increased pay and residuals, which union members say have been reduced heavily by streaming services compared to traditional residuals from network TV replaying shows or movies. 


According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for California actors in 2022 was $27.73 per hour.

Kimiko's claims support these stats, as she said that a lot of the OITNB cast had to start second jobs just to get by. “People were bartenders still. People had their second jobs still," Kimiko posted on TikTok. 

"They were f**king famous as s**t, like internationally famous, couldn’t go outside, but had to keep their second jobs because they couldn’t afford to not. We couldn’t afford cabs to set.”

@itskimiko @The New Yorker released an article the other day describing many of our cast’s experience on #orangeisthenewblack and the details will astound you. go to my IG for the link 💕💕 #sagaftra #sagaftrastrike #sagstrike #sagaftrastrong ♬ original sound - kimiko

"We did not get paid very well. Ever. And when I say, ‘Did not get paid very well,’ you would die," she told her 90k followers. 

The actress also took aim at the lack of residuals she's earned in the years since the show started streaming on Netflix. “Whether or not we got paid upfront — my tits live on in perpetuity. I deserve to get paid for as many f**king streams as that s**t gets,” she said. 

The 34-year-old also posted a royalties statement on TikTok, which she had previously shared in 2020. The statement showed that she had earned a mere $27.30.

@itskimiko why #sagaftra is striking #sagaftrastrong #sagaftrastrike #sagstrike ♬ original sound - kimiko

In an Instagram post, Kimiko broke down exactly what she made on the days she shot OITNB. While she was supposed to be making $900 per day, she wrote that once taxes and commissions were deducted "that nets you about $450 for that one day of shooting,” she explained. “And assuming you work four days a month — we’re talking $1800 for a month’s work, and you live in New York City. That doesn’t make rent."

Kimiko's added that the salary was “epically low for someone who is recurring on a hit television show, where they are contractually obligated to stay available for six months out of the year.”


The actor's revelations follow a story in The New Yorker that featured interviews with a number of OITNB cast who shared similar stories. 

Beth Dover played prison company manager Linda Ferguson in the series and claimed she lost more money than she earned. “It actually COST me money to be in season three and four since I was cast local hire and had to fly myself out etc,” she recalled. “But I was so excited for the opportunity to be on a show I loved so I took the hit. It’s maddening.”

It's worth noting that Taylor Schilling – who played the main character Piper Chapman – was reported to have earned $35,000 dollars per episode by 2014.

Hey now! Listen to this episode of The Spill about the Oppenheimer cast joining the strike. Post continues after podcast.

Diane Guerrero played fan favourite Maritza Ramos and yet, the actress told The New Yorker that she felt shameful sharing what she was earning on the wildly popular show. "How could you tell this complete stranger how much you’re getting paid for being on a television show? 

"Because everyone’s reaction would be, like, 'Oh, my God, I love you on that show! But also, what are you doing here?' It was this incredulity that was teetering on offensive." 

Emma Myles played Leanne Taylor for six seasons and said she was paid SAG’s minimum rate. “It’s always the first thing to come out of our mouths, because it’s so crazy and unjust,” she said.

“Everyone thinks we’re kajillionaires. They could and would pay us the absolute bare minimum, and there was really no wiggle room.”

Feature image: TikTok/ItsKimiko + Netflix. 

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