It’s long been a standard complaint that the Carry On films just paid horrendously low amounts of money to the acting talent.
The average male manual worker earns £13 2s 11d (about £13.15) a week.
Note that’s in a time of strong unionisation. And the Carry On rates?
I got very little money, perhaps £50 a week. I thought, ‘I don’t think Michael Elliott would approve if I went on making this trash.’ ” So she asked for an extra £50 a week. Not only was her request denied, she was sacked on the spot.
Four times that average wage is terrible pay, is it?
I also dimly recall a Kenneth Williams lament about that low pay. He was getting £7,000 for a film I think. That’s 10x that average annual wage for the couple of months it took to film a Carry On.
Sure, Carry On might have been dismal pay given the rate for the job – film acting – but compared to the society around it not too bad.
And, well, you know, we’ve all sorts of people lamenting high pay these days, recalling as they do that things were much better when the CEO to worker multiple was only 20:1. We’ve even the OberstSpudder at one time insisting that higher multiples than that should not be tax allowable.
So why is it that Carry On is derided as being low paying, rather than wondrously equitable? Or is it just that luvvies are different?