If You Think Athletes, Actors & Musicians Are OVERPAID, Read THIS

“I’m OVERPAID?! Man F*^K YOU!”

I recently came across an article on some celeb-watching blog about how Forbes Magazine recently named Eddie Murphy the most OVERPAID actor in Hollywood in 2012. I was slightly intrigued at how they came up with this claim, so I clicked on the post and learned that Forbes creates the list by collecting the box office take of each star’s last three films, compared to the salary paid to them. By this calculation, Forbes estimates that for every $1 Murphy was paid for his last three films, the return was an average of $2.30 at the box office (which is bad apparently). Although I found the topic moderately entertaining, it was the COMMENTS section that had he laughing at how RIDICULOUS some people can be.

Besides old folks proclaiming how much Murphy has fallen off since Beverly Hills Cop, and young kids saying he’s never, EVER been funny his entire career [if you were born in ’92, please understand that you have ZERO credibility in judging Eddie Murphy’s career you young, frowsy douchebag], the most OFT-USED & HILARIOUS comment I heard was:All these damn actors get paid WAY TOO MUCH!’ And the rants didn’t just stop at actors, it went on to involve athletes, musicians and damn near ALL entertainers together. Now I often state that I’m NOT surprised by how stupid some people are, but today almost SHOCKED me, especially reading comments like THIS [copy and pasted]:

They’re all over paid!!…how do you make more then ppl who saves lives,or cures diseases maybe if they paid teachers more the schools would be better!..this world is backwards!

Now I can understand if an 11-year old uttered this anti-intellectual bullish*t because they can use their ignorance as an excuse, but this was written by a GROWN-ASS-ADULT. An adult who definitely has been schooled on the concepts of simple enterprise, basic business, economics 101, and finance-for-dummies, so there is literally NO good reason for a human with a fully formed brain to utter this nonsense. But, I just laughed and tried to keep it moving, but I couldn’t stop reading OTHER grown-ass adults spewing the same foolishness and then it got to the point where I really couldn’t take the wilful ignorance anymore and decided to speak on it.

So here’s my rant:

Ladies & Gentlemen, if YOU believe that actors, athletes and musicians are OVERPAID and you’re NOT a communist, you’re an IDIOT. These entertainers are either employees/independent contractors of a LARGER business that takes an INCREDIBLY large chunk of their earnings, or they are independent business owners who feature themselves as their main talent and source of income. The reason these people make SO MUCH, is because they offer a service WE pay for and/or support [directly or indirectly] which creates the capital used for their salaries.

Now, let’s discuss why they make more than Doctors, Firemen, Nurses, Teachers, EMT’s, Scientists, Police Officers and others who literally support our lives and well beings: Because we DON’T personally invest our money into those areas and we aren’t crazy about doing so either. In most countries, do you know how those people are paid? By the GOVERNMENT [sometimes directly or through subsidies] and the GOVERNMENT gets the money to pay them through many different sources, ONE main source being all of US – the TAXPAYERS. But here’s the REALLY hilarious part: Many of us are willing to sit and argue over how much an athlete deserves to be paid or how much a singer should get for performing a show, BUT how many of us have stood in line and picketed our government to increase our TAXES and/or government spending to increase the salaries of these people?

I’m willing to bet many have NOT.

For example, when NFL players sign 100 million dollar contracts it needs to be taken into context that the NFL makes eleven figures in NET PROFIT with money that comes from US, their fans. Teachers [for example], on the other hand, are mostly at war with shrinking school budgets which are financed by taxpayers. The NFL made 10 billion DURING the recession, while most countries had their economies SLAMMED. And what’s even more hilarious is how UNDER-TAXED Americans REALLY are, yet you all LOVE to complain about taxes being too high – yet you somehow, miraculously, want the state to find money to extravagantly fund workers with budgets dependent on YOUR tax dollars?


If you are truly upset about this “mismanagement” of financial allocation to people who deserve [and YES, people who save lives and cure disease deserve all the money, accolades and appreciation they can get] it starts with making a simple change on how US as a society decides to allocate our funds. If you want teachers to get paid more, then take the money you used to buy that 70″ flat screen TV, plus the season tickets, concert tickets and all your other entertainment funds and contribute THAT to these men and women. But if you’re unwilling to do that, because you’ll be DAMNED if you miss the New Kids On The Block reunion tour – plus shut the HELL up.

This Is Your Conscience

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog ThisIsYourConscience.com, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.


  1. lincolnanthonyblades

    12/06/2012 at 4:51 AM

    Ladies & Gentlemen, do you think entertainers are overpaid? What are you willing to do to ensure public servants and other lifeline professionals get paid more? Is there anything that can be done?

    • Vicky

      12/06/2012 at 11:03 AM

      I think the better question is how do we get the government to change the way they allocate the money that we (the tax payers) are paying?

      My taxes are not decreasing (I am Canadian) and yet publicly funded areas are getting cut backs which really isn't fair. It boggles my mind really!

      As for the actors, athletes, entertainers – I can't say that they are over paid because we see all the glitz and glamour of it all however (actors) spent a weeks, months, years working on a project. Imagine you are given a project at work and it takes you 20 hours a day for a month straight. You better be compensated well for your time.

      • lincolnanthonyblades

        12/06/2012 at 12:24 PM

        I think entertainers are not overpaid just based on simple supply and demand. WE made sports, movies and music BILLION dollar businesses, so who do we expect is going to get compensated?

        • Vicky

          12/06/2012 at 12:35 PM

          Us of course!! LOL! *rolls eyes*

  2. mena

    12/06/2012 at 5:35 AM

    You should get paid the amount your industry and the market allows for you to make. I'm one of those people that believes college athletes deserve more than just free tuition, room and board. But that's another topic for another day.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      12/06/2012 at 12:25 PM

      Agreed. But on the topic of college athletes, I think that's a very tricky issue, i.e. how much do you pay them? And how are they represented in contractual issues?

      • mena

        12/06/2012 at 12:38 PM

        The contractual issue would be the signing on to play a sport for the school. They would get compensated by a monthly stipend on top of their scholarship. Depending on the athletic program, school, and amount brought in would determine the amount paid. Just last year the SEC made 1 billion dollars. Tell me that's not inane.

        Here's just one article on the subject: http://www.forbes.com/sites/dougbandow/2012/02/21

        Here is "book" if you have the time. Very long read but well thought out and researched: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/

        • lincolnanthonyblades

          12/06/2012 at 2:10 PM

          There's too many issues with compensating students. and the first issue is that these students need quality representation because not all student-athletes are equal. 5 star recruits who drive network TV promos and sell tickets need to be compensated more than the walk-on on the end of the bench.

          Then you have to start taking concessions into account, because these schools love to sell jerseys of these players, but get around the loophole of having to compensate them simply by not placing their last name on it.

          Once you introduce paying student athletes it opens a huge can of worms that I think most families, players and institutions may not be ready to deal with.

          • mena

            12/06/2012 at 2:23 PM

            I think you are looking too far into it. It would be like signing a contract where the NCAA (I know they suck but hear me out) would signify what level recruit a person is. Based on that, the type of sport (i am only thinking about football and basketball where they CANT go into the pros out of high school), the division of the school, and the conference they belong to, the athlete would get a sort of stipend. It would ONLY be for football and basketball since those are the ONLY sports where kids that are phenomenal CANNOT go into the pros b/c let's be honest, if you were that amazing, and could go into the pros out of high school, you would go.

          • lincolnanthonyblades

            12/06/2012 at 2:59 PM

            That model seems even more flawed than what I was thinking. If you want to pay student athletes it introduces the one thing the NCAA does NOT want to admit: That students deserve financial reward for being prominent parts of their economic success. Once the NCAA admits that, they open themselves to being scrutinized at every turn.

            Once these kids and agents lawyer up, they can make a great case for being exploited financially. For example, one of the top college basketball stars in the country is Cody Zeller at Indiana. If there program grosses 10 mil this year based on the fact that people come to see him play, how can we say a small stipend is adequate pay?

          • SMilez_920

            12/06/2012 at 4:00 PM

            How will this affect the tution for other student. Trust the head of the NCAA , head of division one schools and coaches are'nt going to take a pay cut to compensate.

            also what about schools who have sports programs but their not as profitable as other schools. I mean HBCU's have lost big name blk athlets to bigger PWI schools. When you add in a pay check , compensation and all that other stuff, how do smaller schools, with smaller sports programs move up the ranks.

            (I also think playes should at least get compensation from the part of the box office and merchandise) plz excuse the typos

          • mena

            12/06/2012 at 4:49 PM

            Smaller schools with smaller programs have never and will never be able to compete with top ranked sports schools. Also, the big kids who WILL go professional one day don't even look at these schools on signing day. They want the big names.

          • lincolnanthonyblades

            12/06/2012 at 7:36 PM

            Mena's Right. If Lebron Or Kobe Or Dwight Howard HAD To Go To College, A HBCU Would Have Been The LAST Place They Attend.

          • mena

            12/06/2012 at 4:48 PM

            B/c in order for him to play in the pros for basketball, he either has to wait a year or go and play at a school. The rules are there. For the NFL, you can't enter until you are 3 years out. These players can't really go anywhere else (unless they go to Europe for basketball) so college is the logical step.

            The NCAA has already admitted that they need these students. They aren't stupid. There would be no lawyer involved since these kids would be signing onto the school which they do every year at signing day. Why are you bringing in lawyers?

            Right now the schools give room, board, and tuition to players. They would just add in a stipend as well.

          • lincolnanthonyblades

            12/06/2012 at 7:38 PM

            The NCAA is smart tho. They label them STUDENT-Athletes when everyone in the world knows they are Athlete-students. The NCAA has never, and probably will never admit that the financial benefits of their system are dependent on a "star" system like the NBA, although it is. They maintain that the drama, intensity and rivalry is what drives the money coming in, not the individual players, so they won't give them a penny.

  3. petersburgh

    12/06/2012 at 6:45 AM

    Well, if people know how much money a record label takes from an artist before the artist actually gets paid, they won't think so. The whole industry takes way more but I guess it's entertainment for the masses so the masses foot the bill.

    I am a public servant and the truth is that nothing will be done because everyone likes their freedom to spend on what they wish and rightfully so too. I believe there has to be something that can be done but the willingness of the masses to do whatever it takes is the stumbling block

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      12/06/2012 at 12:26 PM

      That first point will go over many people's head, because most of us think that these artists make WAY more money than anyone else, when most are NOT balling like they claim.

  4. Smilez_920

    12/06/2012 at 8:13 AM

    I think everyone at one point in life has uttered this phrase and not realistically thought about industry=paycheck and how the money in that industry is made. This is jut like when ppl complain about reality tv stars and go " why are they famous , they have no talent" yet continue to watch those " talentless reality tv stars " shows, interviews and buy their merchandise . The entertainment industry is one industry that ( money wise) is really controlled by the consumer. Think of how' many Celebes are one hit wonders because the consumer no longer supported their product.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      12/06/2012 at 12:26 PM


  5. iluvwhoiluv

    12/06/2012 at 9:26 AM

    <div class="idc-message" id="idc-comment-msg-div-511978363"><a class="idc-close" title="Click to Close Message" href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(511978363)"><span>Close Message</span> Comment posted. <p class="idc-nomargin"><a class="idc-share-facebook" target="_new" href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http%3A%2F%2 Fwww.thisisyourconscience.com%2F2012%2F12%2Fif-you-think-athletes-actors-musicians-are-overpaid-read-this%2F%23IDComment511876714#IDComment511978363&t=I%20just%20commented%20on%20If%20You%20Think%20Athletes%2C%20Actors%20%26%20Musicians%20Are%20OVERPAID%2C%20Read%20THIS%20-%20ThisIsYourConscience.com" style="text-decoration: none;"><span class="idc-share-inner"><span>Share on Facebook</span></span> or <a href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(511978363)">Close MessageSheryl Underwood was talking about this on the Steve Harvey morning show this morning. Eddie Murphy overpaid? That is such a laugh!

    • mena

      12/06/2012 at 9:35 AM

      I actually read that article a few days ago and it was pretty much saying that the amount he makes vs the amount he brings in is horrible. In other words, his last few movies have been a flop for the studios.

      • SMilez_920

        12/06/2012 at 10:42 AM

        If the movie industry was a Fortune 500 company Eddie Murphy would be CEO, Making CEO money. Lots of CEO gets paid even when the under perform at times. Eddie been in the business 20 plus yrs, he has connection and pull. yes his last few movies, minus the one with Ben Steller and Gabby Senaba (I know I spelled their names wrong) haven’t been that great but hey, when you've got power you get to choose what price you will and wont perform at. As long as the movie studios see him as valuable, they will pay what he request them to pay.

        Once they dont see him as valuable, he'll be just like MC hammer

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      12/06/2012 at 12:27 PM

      I understand what Forbes was trying to say, but they chose to be willingly inflammatory to sell advertising and magazines. He may be COLD, but he's not overpaid.

      • mena

        12/06/2012 at 12:40 PM

        I was speaking to iluvwhoiluv. B/c of his name, Eddie will get paid a ton but due to his movies flopping the way they did, he is in fact overpaid. When his movies pick back up, then he won't be overpaid anymore.

        • lincolnanthonyblades

          12/06/2012 at 2:13 PM

          Overpaid is an interesting term from a financial perspective because even by Forbes logic, he provides a 100% ROI on his films. Giving someone a million dollars that they turn into 2.3 million becomes a subjective ideology of overpaid. I think the guy who gets paid 500K for a movie that grosses 250K is actually overpaid because the investors balance sheet will now be filled with red.

  6. Dyquen

    12/06/2012 at 12:04 PM

    I never complain entertainers and their salaries because the math kinda does add up when accounted for, but the main reason we Americans complain about taxes is that the Taxes go up and all that means, is that politicians get paid more for doing nothing or the same shit job they've been doing. Meanwhile they come out and moan about a deficit and having to cut pay or jobs for civil workers. It's basically set up like any other retail corporation business. Profits roll in the execs get bonuses and higher pay but the retai employees get screwed by either; cut hours, frozen pay raises, cuts on benefits, 401K's get evaporated before it pays off, or that sad day you go into work and find out your job dont exist anymore because they condensed 4 jobs to one person at the same pay. Seen this happen to to alot of people. Meanwhile said retail store is reporting bigger profits than the previous year and always sets the retail stores to do better than the year before. So while I know for the consumer and small business owner the recession is very real, I don't think corporations or the government truly know what it means or what it's like.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      12/06/2012 at 12:29 PM

      I definitely agree with you on these points.

  7. MistaHarsh

    12/06/2012 at 3:09 PM

    Doesn't Eddie still hold the record for highest grossing comedy special? I don't think he's overpaid. He still has star power and clout and for all the clunkers he put he has timeless classics to counter it. Regardless he's still a living legend and pioneer in Hollywood his career spans 30 years he's earned his rate and has made hollywood their money.

  8. MistaHarsh

    12/06/2012 at 3:20 PM

    In regards to who pays their salary its us BUT the athletes and actors get the scraps. Its MGM, Universal, MLSE that we are willingly giving our money to. They are the overpaid ones.

    How is it that Toronto Maple Leafs are the highest grossing sports organization in history yet they haven't won a cup in decades and consistently fail to reach the playoffs? Whenever I see fools with the Leafs flag on their cars blindly supporting I cringe.

    Another thing why is it that Forbes Mag trying so hard to put entertainers/athletes/musicians earnings on blast WEALTHY people like T boone Pickens are allowed to bask in their money without ANY public scrutiny?

  9. truth hurts

    02/11/2013 at 11:32 AM

    They are completely over paid. Nothing is more hillarious than hearing a 'country' music artist with a Net Worth babbling on in their songs about being poor. What a scam.

  10. truth hurts

    02/11/2013 at 11:32 AM


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  12. zonesquest

    12/23/2015 at 3:11 PM

    None of that changes the fact that yes, they're still VASTLY overpaid because entertaining people is not an important job. I don't care what you say about supply and demand, people shouldn't be encouraged in their stupidity. Just because millions of people are willing to pay some ridiculous price (which was set for them, they had no say – people will pretty much pay whatever you tell them to, again, people are stupid) to see these people act, perform, whatever, doesn't mean it's something that should continue. Doctors, nurses, builders, engineers, TRUE environmentalists – these are the people who should be getting paid millions of dollars because their contribution towards the world and society actually matters. Pretending to be someone in some movie doesn't count for anything and is a totally worthless job. As far as I'm concerned anyone who supports these people is basically just willingly subordinating themselves to people who will always be richer than they are, because they're too ignorant to see that they're propping up a totally insane system that pays people who run around on fields and throw balls to each other more than people who actually SAVE LIVES, or people who save endangered species, or forests, or people who gives soup to the homeless and hungry every evening. I can't stand you capitalist fanatics who defend it regardless of the social consequences. I bet you've never been between a rock and a hard place in your entire life if you can write garbage like this. These people DON'T deserve what they get paid – because what they do is, at the end of the day, completely worthless, and to believe otherwise is beyond moronic. Can you sustain yourself on movies, sport, art? Nope. So it's worthless.

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