Correcting clickbait articles comparing She Hulk and One Piece salaries
Posted on 18 Sep 2023
A clickbait article has been doing the rounds care of Fandomwire's Tarun Kohli regarding the salary paid to One Piece Zoro actor Mackenyu Arata, and She Hulk Actress Tatiana Maslany. It has been promoted in numerous social media locations, subsequently we can assume they're quite proud of it.
Being unable to get away from the advert, I decided to address it with some facts. And no, I'm not linking to the source this time, let them pay to spread this insanity.
The contention is that Mackenyu was paid $220,000 per episode and Maslany earned $50,000 per episode. What the article title omits is that Emily Rudd, who plays Nami, also earned 4 times Maslany's salary with $200,000 per episode - this is acknowledged at the bottom of the article.
Despite trying to play into some sort of sexist narrative, the nonsensical comparison can be dismantled in a number of other ways too.
What Tarun Kohli completely fails to mention is that One Piece took 8 months to film as opposed to She Hulk's meagre 4 months, which pretty much halves the difference in salary. This seems about right given Mackenyu's reported net worth (Forbes, Business Insider) of $5 million compared to Maslany's $3 million.
Comparing the two actors Fandowmwire has cherry-picked, there's a clear difference in star power. Despite numerous awards for appearances in Orphan Black which ended in 2017, Tatiana Maslany's career has been mostly podcasts and voice over work since. By comparison, Mackenyu is a major star in Japan, being the son of global superstar Sonny Chiba and has won two awards in his relatively short career, including Japan Academy Film Prize as Best Newcomer in 2017 for Chihayafaru. He's also a becoming a Hollywood regular, starring in Pacific Rim Uprising and this year's Knights of The Zodiac alongside Sean Bean and Famke Janssen.
Weirdly, Fandomwire seems more concerned with comparing a co-star to a leading lady, instead of comparing the leads of both series, in which case Mexican actor Iñaki Godoy earned more than 6 times Maslany's salary with $320,000 per episode (though as stated only 3 times her salary if we're looking at time spent working on the respective shows). As if only Mackenyu's salary is a problem. Odd.
Marvel reportedly spent $225 million on She Hulk's 9 episodes while Netflix spent $144 million ($18 million per episode) on One Piece, spread over 8 episodes. The real story appears to be that Disney spends more on production and less on its actors, but gets considerably less quality for its money.
Fandomwire has been gushing in its praise for She Hulk despite the show largely being regarded as a failure thanks to the acting, effects and writing being considered sub par. The audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes is 2.0, but some of the 5 star reviews are clearly dripping with sarcasm (full credit to Carson LaChapelle for his 5 star parody review).
One Piece has a 4.6 star audience rating. No sarcasm detected at time of writing.
Can we therefore assume that Fandomwire's odd comparison piece is driven by some kind of envy as well as general clickbait? Surely a better comparison would have been to Disney's Ahsoka, for which Rosario Dawson is being paid a reported $250,000 per episode. That's an even bigger discrepancy, between leading women no less, at the same studio - call the cops!
Lastly, as if comparing unrelated shows from different studios wasn't enough, another clickbait article on the same site by Vishal Kawadkar complains that Sanji Actor Taz Skylar was paid 1.4x less than Emily Rudd. Strangely this didn't seem to effect either Skylar's bravura performance as the martial artist cook with a heart of gold, nor the clear affection shown by the cast of One Piece for each other.
Whatever Fandomwire's obsession with actor salaries might be, lets remember that nobody is forced to act at gunpoint, no two actors have the same experience and no two shows run budgets in the same way. I look forward to Fandomwire's next article about Apples and Oranges.
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