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Dax Shepard Expresses Fresh Concern About Finances Amid Potential Hollywood Strike

by Venus Sanders

Dax Shepard has openly confessed to grappling with a "new fear" of financial instability due to the ongoing Hollywood writers and actors’ strike, which has extended beyond 100 days. Shepard shared his concerns during a podcast episode of "Armchair Expert," where he chatted with guest Jason Derulo.

Image Credit: Rick Kern / Contributor / Getty Images


The 48-year-old actor expressed his anxiety about the possibility of going broke amidst the actors' strike, fearing that his podcasting career might be impacted, and his acting opportunities might diminish. This sense of insecurity persists even though Shepard is undoubtedly part of the upper echelon of society, drawing a substantial $9 million salary from the multi-year licensing deal that "Armchair Expert" secured with Spotify in July 2021.


As of August 2023, "Armchair Expert," co-hosted by Shepard and producer Monica Padman, stands as the tenth most-listened-to podcast on Spotify, based on the platform's podcast ranking. Alongside his actress wife Kristen Bell, Shepard boasts a reported net worth of $40 million and resides in a luxurious $4.3 million home situated within a gated community in Los Angeles.


Despite his financial comfort, Shepard's acting endeavors have been relatively limited since 2022 when he voiced a character in the animated series "Stoner Cats." This series, known for its unique requirement of purchasing non-fungible tokens to access its content, proved highly successful, selling out its tokens within minutes for a substantial sum. However, the specifics of Shepard's earnings from this venture remain unclear.


Shepard acknowledged that his newfound financial concerns stem from his upbringing and are somewhat irrational. He attributed these worries to growing up in poverty. Despite his success, the "Chips" actor, originally from suburban Detroit, conceded that this fear is deeply ingrained and not easily dismissed.


Jason Derulo, the podcast guest, resonated with Shepard's sentiments by recalling his own experiences of money-related conflicts between his Haitian-immigrant parents. Derulo recounted how his parents' divorce stemmed from financial disagreements and turmoil, which left a lasting impact on him. Even as he accumulated wealth, money problems persisted in his life.


Derulo shared his view that the correlation between happiness and money isn't as straightforward as it seems. He cited a Mike Tyson quote that underscores how individuals who claim money brings happiness might not have had substantial wealth themselves. The ongoing Hollywood writers and actors’ strike has inflicted significant economic damage on the industry, costing an estimated $150 million per week.


This situation arose as 160,000 workers represented by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) joined the Writers Guild of America (WGA) members on the picket lines since July, according to Forbes.


Forbes projected that the strike, which officially commenced on May 1, could lead to an economic impact surpassing $3 billion, given the challenges studios face in generating new high-quality content without the participation of writers and actors.


The effects of the Hollywood shutdown may not become fully apparent until months after a resolution is reached between SAG-AFTRA, WGA, and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents major studios and streamers such as Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount.


Experts have predicted that rushed production schedules and limited talent availability may hinder the quality of content in the aftermath of the strike, impacting various shows and movies like "Gladiator 2" and the eighth "Mission Impossible." Consequently, viewers are turning to alternative forms of entertainment such as live sports and reality TV shows. Reflecting on the past, Forbes reported that a 100-day writers' strike occurring 16 years ago resulted in an industry loss of over $2.1 billion.

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