‘Bob Hearts Abishola’ Star Gina Yashere Calls Out WGA and SAG-AFTRA “Heartless Executives” Amid Strikes

Gina Yashere, who plays Kemi in the CBS comedy Bob Hearts Abishola, explains the causes of the strike by actors and writers while calling out the “heartless executives”.

The comedian shared a video on Instagram outlining the causes of the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes. She lists healthcare as one of the first reasons, stating that “to qualify for healthcare, you have to earn over $26,000,” noting that “87% of actors working in this industry in America do not earn enough to qualify for healthcare.”

Gina Yashere

“The middle streets and the Tom Cruise’s are 0.2% of all actors working in this industry today,” she added.

Yashere claimed that authors must make $40k a year in order to be eligible for healthcare benefits, but 92% of authors do not make this amount.

“Did you know there are people within these networks who are being paid more money for scheduling TV shows than the people that actually created the TV shows that they’re scheduling? It’s nonsensical,” she noted.

Yashere acknowledged the critics who questioned why she was complaining when she was succeeding and continued, “for those of us who are more fortunate and have been able to make a decent living in this industry, it’s up to us to stand up for those of us that aren’t.”

She continued, “I’ve been in that position. I’ve done shows for these streamers and have been sent a residual check for 37 cents. Let me know in the comments what you can get in a grocery store for 37 cents. In fact, if you got a check for 37 cents, would you put gas in your car to drive down to the bank to put that said check in? I think not, I think not.”

Yashere said she’s “only been making a decent living from television in the last four years — at 50. That’s how long it took me as a Black woman to get into this industry. And you know what happens if we lose this battle, we’ll be right back out that door, because the only people that will be able to afford to be in this industry will be white tech Bros and trust fund babies. All other voices will be lost.”

“These studios would have you guys believing that we’re being greedy, and unrealistic. What’s greedy and unrealistic is six people earning $700 million between them having created nothing and everybody else in the industry struggling to pay their rent. That’s greedy and unrealistic,” she said.

“And those heartless executives who let slip that they’re going to string the strike along until we start losing our houses and apartments… Tctors and writers have been struggling for the longest. They’ve been doing two and three jobs. They’ve been working in bars and Target and driving Ubers because they’ve been unable to make a living wage from the vocation that they chose because of your corporate greed. So if you think that actors and writers are going to buckle at the first sign of difficulty because it’s the first we’ve ever encountered. Oh, you’re in for a big fucking surprise.”

The next performance for Yashere’s comedy tour, The Woman King of Comedy, is scheduled for Saturday, July 22 in Detroit. On August 19, she will stop at the Regent Theatre in Los Angeles, where fans in the city can see the tour.

Watch the complete video here.


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