Letters to the Editor: Why can’t I be paid ‘residuals’ for work done years ago?

Striking writers take part in a rally in front of Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles on May 2.
(Chris Pizzello / Associated Press)
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To the editor: Ethan Drogin complains that he received a quarterly streaming residuals check of only $259.71 for the episode of “Suits” he wrote 12 years ago. He neglects to mention what he was originally paid for his writing and what he has received in residuals in the intervening 12 years.

Drogin thinks that in America, if you are paid to help someone succeed, you are entitled to share financially in that success. He should consider how many professionals are compensated.

If an accountant devises a tax strategy that saves a client money every year, the CPA does not receive annual residuals from the client. The CPA was paid a fee to create that strategy.


If a doctor performs a surgery that enables a patient to live and work many more years, the doctor does not receive a portion of the patient’s future earnings as residuals. The doctor was paid a fee to do that.

Drogin was hired to write an entertaining episode of “Suits.” He should relish that accomplishment without complaining he is being short-changed on residuals.

Gerry Swider, Sherman Oaks


To the editor: “Suits” is a froth of TV legal comedy writing that blends the 100% winning attitude of a lawyer sexier than Perry Mason with legal reasoning built on moonbeams. It is wonderful froth that, as a retired trial lawyer, I much enjoy.

The writers deserve much higher compensation.

Laurence Pretty, Altadena