Julianna Margulies won’t be appearing on The Good Wife spinoff The Good Fight, and she says it’s because CBS lowballed her in negotiations for a three-episode arc.
The actress told Deadline that the network “wouldn’t pay me” for the gig on the web drama, which stars Christine Baranski and airs on CBS All Access. While she was excited to resurrect Alicia Florrick, the character she made famous on the original CBS show, which ran from 2009 to 2016, she was offered the show’s guest star rate instead of her regular The Good Wife fee.
“I’m not a guest star; I started the whole thing with The Good Wife,” the actress said. “I wanted to be paid my worth and stand up for equal pay. if Jon Hamm came back for a Mad Men spinoff or Kiefer Sutherland wanted to do a 24 spinoff, they would be paid.”
Margulies, who collected two Emmys and a Golden Globe for her role on The Good Wife, said the whole thing left her with such a bad taste in her mouth that she’ll no longer entertain negotiations with the web show in the future.
“To be perfectly honest, I was shocked,” said the star, who is starring in National Geographic’s upcoming miniseries The Hot Zone. “I was more surprised than hurt. I thought, what are you worth? If you are worthless, if you are not valued for your work, then what’s the point?”
The actress, who also won an Emmy for her role on ER, is getting support on social media for her decision. “That’s right girl,” wrote one person. “Fight The Good Fight and stand your ground for equal pay.” Another made the point, “Imagine being asked to be a guest star on a show that wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for your character’s popularity.”
However, not everyone was so quick to bash CBS. Her feud with former Good Wife co-star Archie Panjabi was brought up. It was also pointed out that web series have very different rates (lower!) compared to TV shows.
Buzz about Margulies reprising the role started in February. Robert King, who co-created and executive produces The Good Fight (after doing the same on The Good Wife) confirmed that Alicia’s return was being discussed and there were even storylines in the works. And Margulies spoke about how she missed and loved the character.
The Good Fight, now in its third season, streams Thursdays on CBS All Access. Margulies’s The Hot Zone will premiere May 27 on National Geographic.
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