Back in April, The Good Wife star Julianna Marguiles stirred up some drama after she came forward about CBS not wanting to pay her for what she’s worth in order to guest star on The Good Fight, which is a spinoff of Margulies’ show.
I wasn’t asking for a million dollars. I wasn’t asking for $500,000 an episode. I was asking for what I got paid on ‘The Good Wife.’ So a spinoff of my show, to play a character that created that show, was asking for what she should get paid. And it wasn’t asking for the moon. I could have asked for the moon. I didn’t.
I’m not a guest star. You don’t pay me a guest-star salary. I would get a guest-star salary if I went and did ‘SVU’ — it’s not my show. I wouldn’t ask for what I got paid as Alicia Florrick. I also know for a fact that any male star that was asked to come on a spinoff of their show would have been offered at least $500,000.
It was a bit of a slight about the network, and considering they gave Margulies The Good Wife in the first place, some wondered why she’d be so harsh towards them. However, Margulies didn’t see it that way. In fact, she says it’s about knowing her own value. She says the decision to speak out wasn’t difficult.
“Why am I protecting CBS? I said yes, they said no,” she told SiriusXM in a new interview. “I started talking about it and said I wanted to do it. They were twisting it that I didn’t want to be on the show and that I didn’t think I was good enough. I watch the show; I love the show! But I’m not a guest star.”
“We live now in a world where equal pay is a very important platform for all of us women who do everything in high heels and backwards to what men do,” she said. “I love men, but it’s gotta stop. I am in an enviable position in that I can walk away from a job. I know how lucky I am.”
Margulies acknowledged that she didn’t come to this decision on her own, and that she took direction from another Hollywood star.
“It’s like the letter Jennifer Lawrence wrote when she found out about ‘American Hustle.’ She said, ‘I did a disservice to my fellow actresses and I shouldn’t have done that.’ And I thought she was so brave for writing that letter,” Margulies said. “So I thought, I’ve gotta speak up, because it’s crazy to me that CBS wouldn’t honor that.”
Even though she knows that speaking out was the right thing to do, Margulies did speak about hearing the negative comments towards what she did.
“You have to value your worth,” she explained. “For the people who get angry when they hear me say, They weren’t paying me what I’m worth, think a little harder because this really isn’t about me at all. This is about every other actress who doesn’t have the voice or power to be able to say that. A spinoff of my show, to play a character that created that show, was asking what she should get paid.”
Margulies made it clear that now, the ball is in CBS’ court.
“If they were to ask me to go back on The Good Fight paying me what my salary is, in a heart beat.,” she said. “Of course. I always would have.”
I have a feeling that all of this drama is going to but a wrench of those plans of returning, but who knows? Maybe they can work things out.