America Ferrara Stars in “Christine”

Watching the first episode of “Christine,” I couldn’t help myself from cringing. This is a testament to the writer’s skills and America Ferrara’s watchability – the series of shorts follows Christine during one (seemingly endless) night of speed dating. The conversations are often uncomfortable and awkward, just like actual dating! And sometimes, it’s a bit too true to life – some of these dates, especially the rough ones, seem to stretch into eternity. And the one above, the mildly creepy set up (with a cocky guy and strange interracial asides), is both compelling and repulsive at the same time.

Ferrara’s project is part of a larger YouTube channel called WIGS – a lauded launch that is targeting women with short films featuring recognizable stars. The business side of this is fascinating:

We know what you’re thinking. How can YouTube afford to pay A-list actors to sign on for such a project? This is the beauty of it. According to Avnet, they’re being paid “very little.”

What does that mean? Essentially, the actors are getting paid the equivalent of SAG actors with all actors earning the exact same amount regardless of name or talent.

According to last year’s SAG contract summary page five, performers make anywhere from $825 for a day performance to $2,921 for weekly performances. 1/2 hour programs pay upwards of $4,600. Keep in mind these shows are several minutes. Very little indeed.

So, why would stars commit to doing something for peanuts?

Well, exposure for one. This is a unique opportunity for stars who have been out of the limelight for a while, but who still resonate with viewers (i.e. Garner and Stiles). It’s also a great opportunity for break out stars such as Caitlin Gerard in “Jan.”

Avnet says it’s also for the experience. They’re getting be a part of something that hasn’t been done before and that has the potential to be huge. Again, the snowball effect also comes into play here. Once one mega star is signed on, it’s the cool thing to do.

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Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at team@racialicious.com.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/deena.bowman.18 Deena Bowman

    Oh, major squirm! That scene was like evesdropping. America Ferrara is fantastic! I can’t wait for the next episode.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve only watched the “Blue” series with Julia Stiles all the way through and I found it phenomenal. Hopefully there is a second season, the final episode was a cliff hanger and there are so many questions left unanswered. I’ve watched the first episode of “Christine” and could not get into it. I have yet to watch the other series, but WIGS is another welcome alternative media option. Hopefully, some of the upcoming shows feature women of color as the leads.

    • Golden Silence

      “Hopefully, some of the upcoming shows feature women of color as the leads.”

      I hope so, too. I’ve gotten into the “Christine” series and like it. It does remind me of the awkwardness that I’ve had with speed dating.