Alan Cumming Reveals CBS Wouldn’t Pay Him Enough Either to Appear on ‘The Good Fight’


Standing with his costar! Two months after Julianna Margulies revealed that she would happily return on The Good Wife spinoff, The Good Fight, if CBS would pay her enough, Alan Cumming is coming forward with the same story. The actor opened up to Us Weekly about the spinoff on Sunday, June 9, while attending the Life Ball in Vienna, Austria, to raise money for HIV/AIDS-focused organizations.

“Both of us were going to go back,” Cumming said at the event. The Broadway star played Eli Gold in the original CBS drama alongside Margulies, 53, from 2009 to 2016; he appeared in all seven seasons.

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Alan Cumming and Julianna Margulies pose backstage at the amfAR New York Gala to kick off Fall 2011 Fashion Week at Cipriani Wall Street on February 9, 2011 in New York City. Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

“They were not going to pay us,” the actor, 54, continued. “What’s the reason to take us back? Because we’re big parts of the story, and obviously, it was also going to be a big cache for the show. That costs. Why should we do it for a guest star thing when the last time we were working on this show we got much more?”

Margulies, who portrayed Alicia Florrick in the five-time Emmy-winning series, first spoke out about the pay disparity in April, revealing to Deadline that she was “really excited” to join the show for a three-episode arc, but that “CBS refused to pay my [ask].”

“I’m not a guest star; I started the whole thing with The Good Wife,” she continued at the time. “I wanted to be paid my worth and stand up for equal pay. Jon Hamm came back for a Mad Men spinoff or Kiefer Sutherland wanted to do a 24 spinoff, they would be paid.”

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(L-R) Alan Cumming as Eli Gold, Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick, Chris Noth as Peter Florrick and Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart in an episode of ‘The Good Wife.’ Jeff Neumann/CBS

The eight-time SAG Award winner also said that while her feelings were hurt, she was more “shocked” than anything: “I thought, ‘What are you worth?’ If you are worthless, if you are not valued for your work, than what’s the point?”

In May, she revealed to E! that she opened up about the pay disparity, not because she needed the money, but because she felt it was important to do.

“I am so sick to death of women not being treated the same as men in our industry. And I am at a place in my career where that shouldn’t ever happen. It’s not that I want more than so-and-so, it’s that I want equal. I’m not angry, I’m really not,” the Hot Zone star said. “There’s no animosity. It’s principle and there’s a handful of us actresses that have been doing this for a while that have the ability to walk away and set the stage for the next group that are coming forward.”

With reporting by Brody Brown

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