No one can deny that the cast of any entertainment production, be it a fictional drama, a reality show or a competitive series, constitutes its entire heart. So it stands to reason that the 1990s hit show “American Gladiators” was no different, as noted in Netflix’s “Muscles & Mayhem: An Unauthorized Story of American Gladiators.” Now that you have the essential information, you can learn more about how these celebrities were paid for their substantial time and effort, both mental and physical as well as emotional.
What was the salary of a gladiator?
During the show’s formative years, everyone joining as trained “gladiators” was required to sign a “perpetual” contract, according to the five-part streaming service documentary. This indicates that they intended their initial agreement to be final and irrevocable, with little or no opportunity for renegotiation under any circumstances. Success, failure, or even breaking even rarely matters in this situation. Since “American Gladiators” was such a huge hit, it’s probably true that its main producer and distributor, Samuel Goldwyn Jr., chose to fire employees rather than negotiate reasonable compensation.
In other words, as long as a gladiator decided to stay on the huge Goldwyn Television-backed cult original series, they would only be paid the exact salary stated in their contracts. They did not receive any bonuses in the form of earnings or merchandise shares, and when some of them requested a larger payment after realizing their position, they were fired, according to the documentary.
The Gladiators were reportedly paid the union minimum of $700 per episode during season 1, though upon request, this was increased to $1,000 beginning in season 2. The Gladiators on NBC’s 2008-2009 revival reportedly made $10 per hour, while extras hired to fill studios were ironically paid $15 per hour overall.
How much money did the contestants win?
While it’s unclear exactly how much, if anything, each competitor was paid simply for being on “American Gladiators,” we do know that they would have received huge cash prizes had they prevailed. In fact, for the first five seasons, the half-season champions were secured a total of $10,000, while the runners-up received $5,000 in compensation for their efforts, or half this amount.
The Grand Champions of these five editions also received a new car and an additional $15,000, while the runners-up earned an incredible $10,000 more. For Seasons 6 and 7, the Grand Champion received $25,000 for Season 1 and $20,000 plus a guaranteed spot in International Gladiators 2 for Season 2. Contenders reportedly earned $2,500 for winning matches in the preliminary and semifinal rounds.
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