Ed O’Neill Calls Out the Cheapskates at HBO


Ed O'Neill has been known to be candid when Emmys are the topic of conversation, and when asked to take part in a THR roundtable for Emmy-eligible comedy actors, he did not disappoint. O'Neill mentioned that he'd been in negotiations to join David Mamet's HBO movie about the trial of Phil Spector (starring Al Pacino and Bette Midler), but was only offered minimum working rates, meaning he'd be paid $40,000 for six weeks’ work. "[I asked,] 'Is Al working for scale?' 'No.' 'Is Bette working for scale?' 'No,'" recounted O'Neill. "I said, 'Well, good luck.' Now, I'm not doing it ... But then you say 'Wait a minute, what the fuck, you know? That lasts about three or four days. Then you say, 'Well, I'm going to Hawaii.' That happens all the time." That's when fellow panelist Rob Lowe interjected, "You know why it happens? It's because they know that at the end of the day we love good material. And they will use that to exploit us. And that's — excuse me — bullshit." But really, this video is worth watching for Lowe's expression of disbelief when O'Neill says he was asked to work for scale: "Ex-squeeze me?" Literally, the perfect Wayne's World line to use there. [HR]