Actors in Influencer Dhar Mann's Videos Went on Strike Over Low Wages
Thanks to the quality and volume of the content he puts out, Dhar Mann has found substantial success as an entrepreneur and YouTuber. Although many of Dhar's videos are designed to teach people valuable moral lessons, in early 2023, some of his employees began calling him out for failing to adhere to those same principles when it comes to treating the people who work for him, and his actors in particular, fairly.
So, what happened to some of Dhar Mann's actors? We've done some digging. Keep reading for all the details about Dhar Mann and his actors.
What happened to Dhar Mann's actors?
First, some background: Dhar is an internationally successful YouTuber and entrepreneur who posts four short films on his channel every week dedicated to tackling thought-provoking moral issues. He owns and manages a video production company known as Dhar Mann Studios and was born to emigrated parents who own a taxi cab service that operates in Oakland, Calif.
Although he may be best known for his YouTube channel now, Dhar had a pretty successful career even before he started his production company. He first worked in real estate and then eventually expanded into luxury car rentals and even a cannabis business before his studio was founded. Now, he has amassed a subscriber base on YouTube that's well over 15 million and become one of the most successful content creators on the platform.
Some of Dhar's actors went on strike.
Dhar's enormous success on YouTube has come thanks to short films about important topics, and each one of those films features several actors. In February 2023, many of those actors have went public with their stories, saying that Dhar underpays them and treats them unfairly. As a result, videos went viral recently that show actors on strike in front of Dhar Mann Studios forming a picket line.
Videos accusing Dhar of ignoring the actor's demands for higher wages and firing any actors who publicly disagreed with or contradicted him began circulating on Instagram and TikTok.
In a video on his Instagram page, actor Charles Laughlin explains that there are many reasons he and his fellow actors decided to protest. Ultimately, though, the biggest reason for the protests is that they asked for a meeting with Dhar and were told that they wouldn't get one.
Colin A. Borden, who works as an actor, writer, and director with Dhar Mann Studios, posted an even longer explainer on his TikTok that offered additional context.
Colin explained that he and all the other actors who work with the studio are hired as contract players and only brought in irregularly to star in his short films. As a result, none of them have a regular income or can afford things like rent.
Colin added that, even as the studio grew and got more successful, the actors never saw any of that additional success. Instead, they were constantly reminded that if they spoke up about their poor working conditions they would be fired. As a result, they decided to band together to protest the studio and what they believe to be the unfair treatment of actors within it.
Dhar Mann responded publicly to the accusations against him.
In a lengthy Instagram statement on Feb. 13, Dhar Mann addressed the protests and allegations from his actors.
"This past week has been a roller coaster of emotions," his statement begins. "I'm saddened for those affected by everything going on and for the various misleading stories that have spread."
He continues, writing that he met with some of the actors who have been with the studio "from the beginning" to try to ease the tension. Dhar then claims that many of the actors protesting had not worked with the studio for years.
"These protestors represent a small percentage of the thousands of actors we have and do not represent the views of all actors," the statement reads.
Dhar's statement is a detailed defense of himself and his company's practices. In it, he also acknowledges that "there's always an opportunity for growth," and says he met with a group of actors to "come up with ways to improve things." But he also refuted claims that he refused to meet with the actors (and provides some details about what went down in a post on his YouTube channel's community page).
His statement concludes, "My mission on why I started this channel has always been to spread positivity. Although this has been a challenging time, I'm never going to stop working hard toward that goal. I do ask to please stop with any negative comments especially toward actors regardless of their views. I'm so thankful for all your love and support."