Julianna Margulies is revealing why she chose not to appear in “The Good Fight”.
While sitting down with ET Canada’s Keshia Chante to discuss her TV miniseries “The Hot Zone”, the 52-year-old actress explains that she chose not to reprise her “Good Wife” role of Alicia Florrick on the spinoff when she wasn’t offered adequate pay.
“I think I’m lucky enough to be in a position to speak out,” Margulies tells Chante, adding that she feels a “responsibility” with the luck she has been allotted in her career to “pave the way for the next generation of women” in television.
Back in April, the Emmy Award-winning actress told Deadline that she was set to appear in “three episodes” of “The Good Fight”. Despite being “really excited about the idea,” CBS would not pay her asking price.
“We’re still fighting for equality,” Margulies explains. “Why is [it that] because I’m a woman — why would my work get less pay than another male star doing the same thing? It doesn’t make sense. And I’m able to [say no] because I don’t need the money. It’s not about the money. It’s about the precedent it sets.”
Making reference to Jennifer Lawrence’s 2015 essay for Lena Dunham’s “Lenny Letter”, in which the actress discussed the gender pay gap in Hollywood, she adds, “It wasn’t about me doing anything except standing up for all of us.”
Margulies continues: “I see that as part of my role in the business I’m in, to say, ‘No. Don’t do me any favours. I’m fine.’ So, I just wanted [the network] to wake up to that. I’m not mad.”
Margulies later offered a followup during an interview with SiriusXM’s “EW Radio”, explaining why she decided to go public.
“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,” she said.
“I hate talking about money,” she continued. “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.”
According to Margulies, reporters would often ask her about the possibility she would guest star on “The Good Fight” and she finally decided it was time to tell the truth.
“I thought, 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… 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,” she said. “I’m not angry, I just needed to speak my truth… If they were to ask me to go back on ‘The Good Fight’, paying me what my salary is, [I would be there] in a heartbeat.”