Giovonnie Samuels is striking, like thousands of writers and actors in Hollywood, because financial stability has become a myth for some of the industry’s talent. Despite fans’ assumptions of her having a loaded bank account, the former Nickelodeon star said that could not be further from the truth.
“I need y’all to understand that not all child stars are rich. Not all of us are ballin’,” she said in a July 25 TikTok. The tearful plea was for the public’s understanding of the strikes. Samuels also shed light on the hardships she has endured since experiencing fame.
“I don’t know what money y’all think I have…between family members stealing from me, or doing a show where they didn’t pay me, or now I’m fighting for residuals because executives don’t want to give me a dime,” she continued.
“I am asking for a livable wage. I’m asking for health insurance. I got responsibilities and things that I gotta take care of,” said the former “All That” cast member. Samuels, 37, is also the mother of a 7-year-old son who attends private school after being ridiculed in public school because of her profession, she says.
The actress claimed she has two jobs to make ends meet. “I don’t own a home. I barely own my car. So I don’t know what money y’all think I have, but I don’t.”
In separate videos posted on Instagram, Samuels said she was able to survive the 2007 writers’ strike on her residuals, but the uptick in streaming took a toll on her financial stability.
“After the writers strike and streaming started to really kick off, I lost my health insurance and haven’t had SAG health insurance since then,” said the “Bring It On: All Or Nothing” star.
The “Suite Life of Zack and Cody” star then showed a residual check for a movie she filmed in 2020 totaling $6.95 from streaming. She said residual payments from international streams are even worse. “Those checks be like $.05. Bottom line, if you getting paid off of my work, I need to still be getting paid off of that work,” Samuels said.
Her vulnerable moments spurred a range of reactions. “The way you CARRIED every show/movie you were in. It’s mind blowing that you aren’t being paid fairly,” wrote one person.
“If she has a car then why doesn’t she do Uber or Lyft to make extra cash. Hopefully her situation gets better,” wrote another.
“Thats why monique & countess vaughn been speaking out about the strike too. they’re not getting paid for the parkers either,” read a third comment.
“Auntie Mo had to sue Netflix for her piece of the pie. Because they aren’t trying to really give us a dime,” a fourth person wrote.
Comedian Mo’Nique previously called out Netflix for lowballing her and refusing to negotiate in good faith, which led to a years-long legal battle that resulted in the release of her comedy special, “My Name Is Mo’Nique.” In July, she and “The Parkers” co-star Countess Vaughn took aim at CBS and Paramount in a lawsuit accusing the network of withholding royalties they believe they are owed from the successful series.