Julianna Margulies went public with her The Good Fight pay dispute because she needed to speak her truth.
The 52-year-old actress won two Emmys for her role as attorney Alicia Florrick on The Good Wife, which ran for seven seasons until 2016, and producers subsequently launched a spin-off, called The Good Fight, focusing on Christine Baranski’s legal eagle Diane Lockhart.
Margulies was asked to reprise her role for a three-episode arc in the third season of The Good Fight on streaming platform CBS All Access, but turned the gig down after network bosses allegedly wanted her to take a pay cut and receive the guest character rate.
During an appearance on SiriusXM on Tuesday, Margulies was asked about why she decided to speak so openly about the pay dispute, to which she answered: “I wasn’t asking for $1 million. I wasn’t asking for $500,000 an episode. I was asking what I got paid on The Good Wife. So, a spin-off of my show, to play a character that created that show, was asking what she should get paid, and it wasn’t asking for the moon.
“I hate talking about money. I find it crass but 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. I love men but it’s got to stop. I am in an enviable position in that I can walk away from a job. I know how lucky I am that I can say no to a job.”
The screen star added that she was frequently asked about potentially guest starring on The Good Fight, and had always made up stories to conceal the truth. However, she then realised, “Why am I protecting CBS?”
“I said yes. They said no. And you know what? I need to pave the way for the next one coming up…” she explained. “I also know for a fact that any male star who is asked to come on a spin-off of their show would’ve been offered at least $500,000. I’m not angry, I just needed to speak my truth.”
Despite Margulies’ remarks, she admitted that if CBS asked her to return to The Good Fight, and paid her fee, she would be there “in a heartbeat”.