Hollywood assistants have put up with abusive bosses and bad pay over the years. But in the era of #MeToo, a younger crop of assistants are pushing back. They’re demanding better treatment and better wages with the #PayUpHollywood movement.
Jerrica Long worked as an assistant at Creative Arts Agency (CAA) as a floater. She says that she sat in a “dungeon” and it was one of the worst jobs of her life.
Long says she left abruptly after hearing other assistants saying they would own slaves if slavery existed today. “It was an ongoing conversation between a group of white assistants, and I immediately reached out to HR,” she recalls.
John August was a Hollywood assistant in the 1990s, and now he’s a screenwriter. He has covered the predicament of Hollywood assistants on his podcast Scriptnotes.
“The lack of diversity in Hollywood is directly attributable to how little we are paying assistants,” August says, “So the impetus behind this #PayUpHollywood moment was really looking at how low assistant pay is hurting the industry overall.”