The protest movement “Occupy Stage and Field” have ramped up their protests in recent weeks targeting major events and organisations with a series of guerilla protests.
Their battle cry “Stop inequality now!” is the same as that of their sister organisation Occupy Wall Street.
Their target is not the Finance or Banking businesses, but the industry with the greatest greed, ego and sense of entitlement. The industries where the difference between the best paid and the average paid are simply off the chart: namely, the Entertainment and Sports industries.
The Occupy Stage and Field spokesman points out: “We are appealing for mass protests at sports events and music concerts to raise the issue of low paid workers and the excess of the rich and privileged.
“We can understand why no-one likes bankers or financiers, but why does everyone love an overpaid celebrity. Where’s the consistency? How hypocritical to protest at one, but not the other?”
Kate Perry and Miley Cyrus earn about $40m each while Justin Bieber, One Direction and Taylor Swift are all in the $80m+ category. Beyonce and Dr Dre earned over $100m in 2014.
In sports, Floyd Mayweather heads most lists at $105m but soccer does well with Christiano Ronaldo ($80m) and Lionel Messi ($65m) and then of course there are the incredible salaries of the US NBA where LeBron James earns $72m and Kobe Bryant $62m.
Sandra Durello is the head of the Media, Sports and Entertainment Union (MSEU). In an interview she commented, “Sure, I understand that the sports super stars and pop stars entertain millions of people, but much of their revenue is based on their “unfair rent” gained from access to media and radio. Their sports skills or songs and voices and are not 10,000 times better than the next tier down. And then at the bottom, there are some very talented singers, writers and players, often from underprivileged backgrounds, who earn next to nothing week-in week-out. No-one is managing the industry as a whole for the welfare of all the workers.”
Meanwhile down at a pub in the nightclub area of Liverpool, Darren is getting ready for his second gig of the night with his band the Retro Punks. “I am getting a total of 35 quid for the evening most of which I will spend on beer and chips. I have a degree in Music Studies, we practice almost every day and we work hard. How come Kate Perry earns a gazillion times as much as me? Often she doesn’t even have to sing to earn money, she just turns up to give a celebrity endorsement. I can only dream!”