A tweet when viral Wednesday (May 26) about how Zendaya gave her entire film crew at least 1% equity in her film ‘Malcolm and Marie’ so they would earn a bonus after the film sold. While it’s amazing that the tweet is gathering attention now, there were stories written about this topic back in January.
Zendaya gave her entire film crew at least 1% equity in her film ‘Malcolm and Marie’ so they would earn a bonus after the film sold.
The movie was sold to Netflix for an estimated $30M.
Each crew member made at least $300k+ from the deal from their equity points. pic.twitter.com/RzUd5wMKvT
— The Numbers Game (@Tngtweets1) May 25, 2021
When ‘Malcolm and Marie’ was released Teen Vogue did a whole profile entitled ‘Zendaya’s Netflix Film “Malcolm & Marie” Is About Ownership.’
Earning her first PGA credit as a producer Zendaya talked about the importance of ownership behind the scenes. “We own our movie. I’ve never been in a situation or in a spot where I can say that not only did I get to invest in my own movie, but I also own part of my own movie. So when it does well, I do well. I’m taken care of on that side as well, so my contributions are valid,” Zendaya said, “as a young woman, as a young Black woman in this industry, when does that opportunity arise?”
In addition to the Teen Vogue article, TODAY also did a story about how Zendaya and co-star John David Washington did right by their crew.
In addition to doing her own hair and make-up, and bringing clothes from her own closet, Zendaya and her co-star, John David Washington, have producer credits and also had a say in the financial structure of the black-and-white film.
“We got to create this financial structure where all of our crew members also got points on it, so when it sold, they made money as well, so hopefully that will be a system that can continue,” she said. “I think it’s important that we take care of our people.”
Points are like shares of stock in a movie, which allow people who own them (usually the main stars) to be rewarded with an extra payday if the film makes money. Typically one point equals 1%. “Malcolm & Marie” sold to Netflix for $30 million, according to Variety, which means everyone on the cast and crew who had points was likely handsomely rewarded for their work. So even if a crew member had just one point, that could equal $300,000 in profit for them from the sale to Netflix.
“It just felt like the right thing to do,” Zendaya told Variety.
Hopefully more creatives and people in positions of power look at the model that was Zendaya used and tries to incorporates it more in Hollywood.