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#PayUpHollywood: Recommendations

PayUpHollywood started as a grassroots movement in 2019, in an attempt to bring attention to the pay inequities, abuses and struggles of many Hollywood assistants. The 2021 #PayUpHollywood survey revealed that 91 percent of Hollywood support staff are considered ‘cost-burdened,’ earning less than $50,000 a year. More than 50 percent of respondents earned less than $30,000 annually.

The Hollywood sign
"As employers, recognizing and compensating support workers fairly is a key component to creating a safe and equitable workplace culture."

TV writers Liz Alper and Deirdre Mangan co-founded #PayUpHollywood in 2019. In their third annual report, the authors included recommendations for steps employers can and should take to improve compensation and quality of life for Hollywood’s Assistants.

Three people sitting and speaking out of a microphone

ALL employers should commit to 3-5% yearly cost of living increases for all support staffers.

Set a wage precedent. It’s time to bring the competition back inwards and push for which company has the best healthcare, wages, and supports the assistants growth either at the company or on the show. Investing in support staffers is investing in the company itself.


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Conduct anonymous workplace surveys for support staff to identify any financial or workplace abuses happening. For example, a studio may discover that the majority of support staffers have been pressured into leaving off overtime on their timecards, or a supervisor has been threatening the safety of an assistant. Addressing the issues head on will be cheaper and cleaner than class-action lawsuits down the line.

These same surveys should be used to identify the financial or workplace needs of support staff. Numerous studies show that employee retention saves millions. Hollywood employers would save money if they stopped acting like everyone is replaceable.

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Cover of the Pay Up Hollywood report
A graphic visualizing the unfair gender wage gap

Commit to larger box rentals and work-from-home reimbursements to cover the cost of increased utilities and workplace supplies that employees have had to take on.

Commit to a 3rd-party workplace assessment that will give an honest look at the company’s financial and workplace shortcomings.

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Verve was the first talent agency to respond to #PayUpHollywood’s call to action. In addition to giving its assistants and mailroom employees a 25%-40% pay raise in response to #PayUpHollywood, Verve also is shortening working hours.

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