On one hand it makes a person wonder how well off some of the Friends stars really are when learning about how much they made for the reunion show, and on the other it’s enough for an eye roll to realize that they made over $2 million apiece for a single show. It does sound as though they were offered about $1 million apiece to show up initially, but they all turned it down. Does anyone get the implication there? They TURNED DOWN $1 million dollars for one appearance. This is the kind of money they were pulling down per episode at one point, all of them, and they decided they would negotiate in order to get more money for a single reunion show. I’ll stop being outraged now simply because a lot of people might wonder what’s the point, especially given that those who are so enamored of the show would think it a pittance to bring back their favorite actors. It’s also a valid argument that no one in their right mind, not even an actor, would turn down $1 million dollars just to show up for a single appearance, so to be fair, this sounds like the network was bent over a barrel and were ready to do anything to make this happen. Friends was one of the few shows that was so famous that it managed to influence the way people lived, how they dressed, styled their hair, and sometimes even how they behaved in public. But that kind of money to show up and reminisce in front of an audience feels a little ridiculous to say the least. There are bound to be people that would claim that anyone would want more money just to show up after so long, but seriously, it does feel as though they had all the bargaining power since the people in charge would have been roasted had they not gone ahead with it. The actors knew very well that there had to be a show, and they knew that they could drive the price up in since the advantage was theirs.
Fans are going to keep talking about how touching everything was, how great it was to see the actors and hear them talk about old episodes, and how great it will be to see some of the guest stars and blah, blah, blah all day and night as the stars accept the fawning that will come. But the idea of paying someone, anyone, that much for a single appearance is kind of ridiculous to be honest since there’s no way that anyone can justify this, but many will believe they can and go ahead and try. The idea that each actor was making $1 million per episode back when the show was popular and still running is hard enough to imagine since no matter how many challenges an actor faces that kind of money sounds utterly ridiculous, but asking over twice as much for one show many years later when everyone has essentially let go of the star power that once sustained them, except maybe for Aniston, is just as crazy as the autograph prices one might see at a convention should any of these stars show up. Their fame kind of dwindled as the years passed after the show was done, as even Jennifer Aniston started to fizzle a bit here and there. One would think that would make a star worth a little less at some point, but somehow, some way, the fans are willing to believe that a salary the size of which they’re pulling down for the reunion is entirely justified when all they’re doing is sitting around and remembering the various episodes and talking about how David Schwimmer and Aniston actually had feelings for each other. Really, it’s like paying someone to show up to a high school reunion and just shoot the breeze with their former classmates.
Friends was a good show back in the day, but that time has come and gone, no matter how much fans want to claim otherwise. The money that the stars were pulling down for the show was a bit much to be honest even if they were that good at their job. But asking for over double for a reunion, it’s enough for an eye roll and a head shake that won’t mean anything but will express one’s feelings all the same. Do I think actors are overpaid? Oh yes, definitely, even with all they do, all they go through, the kind of money that actors are given is insane, but doing something about it isn’t the goal. Nope, the goal is to find out how much more they can get while they’re still popular, and then how much more they can get when they come back for a single appearance.