The death of Hollywood’s middle class


#TIA – Whether or how Hollywood’s middle class fares is made a matter of general interest primarily by the film medium’s effect on our viewing habits. 

In 2015, Jack Allison, a comedian with a nerdy affect and an impish wit, was a staff writer on The Jimmy Kimmel Show, doing what he loved best: Hanging out with a bunch of other funny people, writing jokes, and downing Twizzlers. In other words, he was a Hollywood TV scribe.

For each of the two years he was on Kimmel, Allison earned about $208,000, which in Los Angeles, the second-most-expensive city in the U.S., represents a middle-class lifestyle. He also received residuals–the payments that TV networks make to writers, actors, directors, and producers for rerunning their work. Kimmel only airs an old episode once a week on U.S. TV, but even so, Allison has so far collected $102,000 in residuals.