Netflix Refuses to Pay Residuals to South Korean Actors

The current head of the Korea Broadcasting Actors Union, Song Chang-gon, is upset that Netflix does not pay its South Korean actors residuals – a type of royalty paid to credited talent when a show is reused after its first airing.

In South Korea, Netflix has a big presence. Nonetheless, he had the impression that the business, which outsources all of its production to local studios, exercised power from behind a curtain at times. Song has sent several messages to Netflix and got no response.

While speaking with LA Times, he said, “One of their first priorities when entering the local market should be to establish some channel of communication with groups like us,” Song said. “But there’s no answer at all.”


The actors union claims that Netflix has long benefitted from an underpaying system for supporting actors, and that higher remuneration is long needed. Supporting actors’ pay for these Netflix shows start at $300 per episode.

These rates are based on network television pay scales established by the actors union prior to streaming’s takeover. However, because Netflix productions have far shorter seasons than the average Korean network drama (the 16-episode miniseries was formerly the broadcast standard), overall compensation are substantially lower, according to the union.

Song claims that filming a Netflix episode typically takes far longer than the one or two days customary for Korean network dramas. “Shoots for Netflix originals, especially genres like zombies or creature features, are far more labor-intensive,” he said. “Actors are still expected to show up for however many shoots it takes to film one episode without enough additional compensation.”

Saad Hussain

Saad Hussain is an ardent writer whose passion lies in exploring the vast realm of streaming. With an insatiable curiosity for all things related to content, business, technology and the ever-evolving world of entertainment, Saad's expertise lies in dissecting the latest trends and captivating his readers with engaging content that fuels their imaginations. Saad's love for the world of entertainment extends beyond his writing pursuits. He actively seeks opportunities to engage in lively discussions about the newest developments around the streaming platforms.

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