One of the basic tenets of the American Dream is the idea that hard work will be rewarded. This simple belief is what gets most of us out of bed in the morning. Yay, capitalism!
It’s so ingrained in us that we believe the obverse must be true, especially with regard to ourselves. If I’m colossally rich, it must be because I worked very hard.
This is why writers, directors, producers, and actors love to talk about how hard they work. They need to assure themselves, as much as you or I, that everything they grew up believing is true.
But that’s not how capitalism works.
Sure, hard work is more likely to be rewarded than laziness, but you don’t get points for effort.
Pay is based on two things: the necessity of a given skill, and the rarity of it. A writer doesn’t work harder than a grip, and both are necessary to complete the film.
The difference is, one skill is a lot more rare.
So, what I’d like to tell all the writers, producers, directors, and especially actors is, quit trying to convince us you worked hard for your huge paychecks, first dollar gross points, giant houses, fancy cars, and trophy wives/husbands. You took your God-given talents and used them. That should be good enough.
And if it’s not, take comfort in the fact that we’d all do the same thing, in your position.