Wil Wheaton never wanted to act, but the decision wasn’t his.
Last year, Wil Wheaton, the host of The Ready Room and the former Wesley Crusher of Star Trek: The Next Generation, shared with People that acting had never been his choice. It had always been his mother’s. He just wanted to be a kid and has very clear memories of telling his parents he didn’t want to act.
"“I have these very clear memories of saying over and over, ‘I don’t want to do this. I just want to be a kid. Let me be a kid.’ “"
But he did it anyway because he learned to do what Mom wanted. A sad testimony which essentially means doing what his mother wanted made his life a little easier. Maybe that’s not his intention, but Wheaton did follow instructions, and for it, he was hated as a character on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
To add insult to injury, Wil Wheaton didn’t get to keep his Star Trek salary.
Wheaton walked the SAG-AFTRA picket line in Los Angeles alongside actress Gates McFadden, adding a snapshot of him and the woman who played his onscreen mother to his Instagram account. In the caption, he says his parents stole nearly all of his Star Trek earnings. (A statement his parents deny.) It was the residuals coming in that kept him afloat for twenty years until he could rebuild his life.
He shared his experience so his followers could see why the strike was important.
"“To give some sense of what is at stake: There are actors who star in massively successful, profitable, critically acclaimed shows that are all on streaming services. You see them all the time. They are famous, A-list celebrities. Nearly all of those actors don’t earn enough to qualify for health insurance, because the studios forced them to accept a buyout for all their residuals (decade of reuse, at the least) that is less than I earned for one week on TNG. And I was the lowest paid cast member in 1988. They want to do this while studio profits and CEO compensation are at historic highs.”"
You can read the full post at his Instagram, and while you’re there, you might want to check out some of his other posts, like this one, as he’s a really cool human.