The stars of Seinfeld have made a deal that will allow the release of DVDs of the series. Jerry Seinfeld’s three costars had been complaining because they had been cut out of royalty payments for the series. “I’m not ashamed to talk numbers. I [Jason Alexander, or George Costanza] would say in the years that we’ve been in syndication, Julia, Michael and I have probably individually seen about a quarter of a million dollars out of residuals, whereas our brethren have seen hundreds of millions of dollars. Seinfeld has a profit of over a billion dollars.”
Got those numbers? That’s one billion for the Seinfeld show, co-stars less than one million total.
My take: Seinfeld himself and co-creator Larry David reap a big share of the residual rights. The co-stars were cut out from the beginning, and it is standard practice that actors receive nothing from the sale of DVD rights.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The poor deserve special attention because of their low standard of living in absolute terms. But I have nothing against inequality per se.
Here is the full story, which also sheds light on envy and pride as core human causes of wage and price stickiness.
Addendum: A reader, Robert Schwartz, cites Forbes on “Elaine’s” father, Gerard Louis-Dreyfus, who is worth $2.9 billion.