Kevin Costner’s Divorce Reveals Why Hollywood Is Striking?

Kevin Costner, Yellowstone - YouTube

Yellowstone star Kevin Costner’s messy Hollywood divorce has unexpectedly revealed the many reasons why the WGA and SAG-AFTRA are currently striking.

Although he was not speaking out on behalf of both unions, the award-winning actor and director has given legal testimony as to why he is not on Yellowstone. Moreover, those reasons align with some of the sticking points as to why these Hollywood unions are currently striking.

How has Kevin Costner’s divorce and his chaotic Yellowstone ending inadvertently revealed why Hollywood is striking?

Kevin Costner Yellowstone - Used with Paramount's permission
Kevin Costner Yellowstone – Used with Paramount’s permission

Kevin Coster’s Divorce Revealed Yellowstone Season 5 Double Time

On Friday, Kevin Costner went to court because his ex-wife Christine Baumgartner wanted more money in child support. In turn, his testimony turned out to reveal why he is no longer starring in Yellowstone as John Dutton.

Moreover, this serendipitously revealed the very problems that striking Hollywood actors and writers have been highlighting during the months of strikes.

While the 68-year-old is one of the highest-paid actors on linear television, he experienced some of the same issues as striking writers.

Firstly, he revealed that there were some creative issues. This started with the supersized Season 5. This was to be divided into two parts. Moreover, this was the first time the top cable series included a two-part season.

This is something that generally happens on streaming networks like Netflix. Not only are these seasons shorter than linear television, but the actors also have double the work. Also, despite the extended filming schedule, the actors are not earning a traditional full season’s worth of work or earning the salary to show for it.

According to Deadline, the actor revealed that this extended season meant he was working twice as much. “A show I was only doing once a year I was doing twice.” Costner was paid $1.5 million an episode, meaning that the Yellowstone Season 5 Part A gave him a whopping $12 million paycheck.

But, it also meant that he had to work extra and not be able to take on other work, such as his dream project Horizon.

Previously, in a July testimony, he revealed that he was not going to get residuals. This information had to be disclosed due to future earnings. Residuals are a major sticking point with actors.

Yellowstone - Used with Paramount's permission
Yellowstone – Used with Paramount’s permission

Yellowstone Scripts Not Ready

Kevin Costner’s other major Yellowstone revelation has to do with the scripts. While Season 5 was divided into two parts, making him work twice, when he used to work just once, the scripts for Part B were not ready.

While Costner did not further explain why Taylor Sheridan did not have scripts ready, his refusal to have a writer’s room is in direct opposition to the WGA’s demands.

A few months back, Sheridan, who is a member of the WGA, told The Hollywood Reporter why he was not a fan of this tradition.

My stories have a very simple plot that is driven by the characters s opposed to characters driven by a plot–the antithesis of the way television is normally modeled.

I’m really interested in the dirty of the relationships in literally every scene. but when you hire a room that may not be motivated by those same qualities–and a writer always wants to take ownership of something they’re writing–and I give this directive and they are not feeling it, then they’re going to come up with their own qualities.

So for me, writer’s rooms, they haven’t worked.

This essentially explains why Taylor Sheridan doesn’t have a writer’s room. He does not want to compromise with anyone else writing his scripts.

Yellowstone - Used with Paramount's permission
Yellowstone – Used with Paramount’s permission

Actors Like Kevin Costner Are Freelancers

While the Yellowstone creator has some valid points, this does not excuse delays. Consequently, actors are freelancers. They need to book back-to-back projects. If there is a delay, their finances suffer.

Therefore, when Taylor Sheridan doesn’t have a script ready, their other projects may need to be moved or canceled. This means lost revenue. A writer’s room means that they are on a schedule. Most of all, there are many hands to get the job done. But, Sheridan is a control freak.

Now, Kevin Costner is threatening to sue the producers of the Paramount series. Most of all, his situation has highlighted some of the issues that actors are dealing with. The networks are changing things in a way that hurts actors, as well as writers.

Kevin Costner Yellowstone - YouTube
Kevin Costner Yellowstone – YouTube

Meanwhile, fans are still waiting for Yellowstone Season 5, Part B.

Georgia Makitalo

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