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‘Abbott Elementary’ star William Stanford Davis shows off residual check worth a nickel in strike-supporting post


ABC/Matt Sayles

On Abbott Elementary, William Stanford Davis brings the funny as sarcastic custodian Mr. Davis, but he wasn’t laughing in a new Instagram post educating people about the life of a working actor.

“I’ve been in the [Screen Actors] Guild for 32 years, and, I’ll let this speak for itself,” he said before holding up a piece of paper to the camera. “This is a residual check.”

A residual check is a payment made to an actor when a particular movie or show is rebroadcast. Depending on how many times it airs, the amount gets less and less.

Davis’ check, for an unnamed production, was for 5 cents, though he misspoke as “three cents.”

“The postage, the paper, everything costs more than that,” he said. “That’s what they think of us as actors. This is why we’re on strike: For better wages, for better residuals [and] for a piece of the [streaming] subscription and to not give in to AI.”

He added, “I stand in solidarity with the writers. And we’re striking until we get what we need to make a living as actors.”

In his caption, the actor noted of the tiny check, “What are we supposed to do with that?”

He added, “I stand strong with our union as we fight for what’s ours and for the success of the future generations.”

ABC’s hit Abbott Elementary recently earned eight Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series and Best Actress for creator Quinta Brunson.

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