Disney Channel Actor Received $0 Check for Iconic TV Show

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The McGuire family gathered around the cartoon version of Lizzie McGuire

Credit: Disney

As actors across the United States continue to strike for fairer pay, one Disney Channel actor is revealing his own lack of compensation from Disney.

While Disney CEO Bob Iger may not be too keen on the Disney Channel today, once upon a time, it dominated children’s entertainment. In the mid-2000s, shows such as That’s So RavenHannah MontanaThe Suite of Zack and Cody, and Phineas and Ferb drew in viewers by the millions.

The cast of 'The Suite Life of Zack and Cody' on luggage carts at The Tipton
Credit: Disney

Related: Hilary Duff Reveals MORE Details On Canceled ‘Lizzie McGuire’ Reboot

Disney being Disney, Disney Channel has traditionally been more than just a network. At the peak of its popularity, it was a machine for generating tween and teen stars who became multi-million franchises in their own right.

The biggest example is, of course, Miley Cyrus, who launched her own successful music career off the back of her double role as Miley Stewart and pop sensation Hannah Montana. Disney Channel is also responsible for kickstarting the stratospheric success of Selena Gomez (star of Wizards of Waverly Place and today the leading lady of Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, not to mention CEO of the uber-influential cosmetics brand Rare Beauty), the Jonas Brothers (AKA the iconic boyband that became household names via Camp Rock (2008) and their show JONAS and now sell out arenas worldwide), and Zendaya (once of Shake It Up and KC Undercover fame, now a box office staple).

Miley Cyrus as Miley Stewart next to Emily Osment as Lily Truscott in 'Hannah Montana' (left) and Hannah Montana (right)
Credit: Disney

What we’re trying to say is that while Bob Iger may today think that the “business model underpinning [Disney Channel] is definitely broken,” it was once a money-making machine for the Walt Disney Company.

Now, however, a star has come forward to share just how little money he receives from one of its biggest hits.

From 2001 to 2004, Robert Carradine starred as Sam McGuire, the father of the lead character in Lizzie McGuire. He recently took to Instagram to reveal that he doesn’t just earn a small amount from streaming residuals – he actually lately earned nothing at all. Carradine posted a picture of a $0 check received from Walt Disney Pictures in 2019, captioning the image with “Why we’re striking.”

Robert Carradine's Disney Channel residual check for $0
Credit: Robert Carradine via Instagram

Residual checks exist to financially compensate actors, directors, and other figures involved in the production of a TV show (such as Lizzie McGuire) or film in the event that their project is redistributed via reruns, syndication, DVD sales, or streaming. One of the reasons why SAG-AFTRA is striking is to push for fairer compensation for the latter, with actors receiving woefully small checks despite their parts in projects that remain popular online today.

If the comments on Carradine’s post are anything to go by, the general sentiment is very pro-actor, anti-Disney. One user wrote, “$0 for the greatest Disney dad of all time? That’s brutal.”

The McGuire family gathered together
Credit: Disney

Related: The Disney Channel Shows That Defined Each Decade

Another pointed out, “The kicker is, it actually [costs] more in postage to send you a check for $0. They [paid] the damn post office more than they paid you for your work.”

Meanwhile, one praised the Lizzie McGuire actor for being so open about the reality of a working actor’s pay. “Many [people] don’t realize how much lack of pay you guys actually get,” they said. “It’s sad because they know you guys and writers make the films/shows etc., yet they don’t want to acknowledge your worth. Makes me sick. All I know is I’m backing you all the way in the strike. You guys don’t deserve this kind of treatment. Now maybe the public can see what has been hidden and being done to you guys all along.”

Do you think actors are paid unfairly? Let us know your thought in the comments!

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