'Abbott Elementary' Star William Stanford Davis Shows Off Five-Cent Residual Check During Strike

The actor is fighting for wages he says are needed to 'make a living.'  

As the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes continue, Abbott Elementary star William Stanford Davis became the latest actor to reveal how shockingly little he receives in residual payments. Over the weekend, the 71-year-old actor took to Instagram, where he pulled out a five-cent check he received from an unnamed show. 

"I'm standing in solidarity with the writers, and we're going to be on strike until we get what we need to make a living," said Davis, who has been a member of SAG-AFTRA for over 30 years and currently plays school custodian Mr. Johnson on the ABC sitcom.

He then held up the check to the camera, exposing the meager payment before commenting on the absurdity of mailing someone a check for so little money. "Can you believe that? That's [five] cents. The postage, the paper, everything costs more than that," he said. 

Davis later added, "That's what they think of us as actors. This is why we're on strike for better wages, for better residuals [and] for a piece of the subscription and to not give in to AI."

On Instagram, he also captioned the video by writing, "There ain’t nothing funny about a [five-cent] residual check! What are we supposed to do with that? I stand strong with our union as we fight for what’s ours and for the success of the future generations."

As ET previously reported, the actors union officially went on strike starting July 13, after negotiations with major studios and streamers, which are represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), fell apart over several key issues. 

Among the actors' sticking points for a new agreement are improved compensation and benefits, residuals that reflect the value of their contributions amid the expansion of streaming services, regulated use of artificial intelligence (AI) and the issue of self-taped auditions.

Davis is one of many actors coming forward to demonstrate just how little they are compensated for their work, especially for shows that re-run on various platforms. 

Days prior, Mandy Moore made headlines when she revealed she has "received a residual [check] for a penny and two pennies" for episodes of This Is Us that audiences are able to stream online. 

"The residual issue is a huge issue," the actress said in an interview at the time, explaining that "we’re in incredibly fortunate positions as working actors having been on shows that found tremendous success in one way or another … but many actors in our position for years before us were able to live off of residuals or at least pay their bills."