Julianna Margulies knows her worth. The actress, who was the star of CBS’ The Good Wife from 2009 to 2016, has not appeared on CBS All Access’ spinoff, The Good Fight — and that is because of a pay dispute.
“CBS wouldn’t pay me,” Margulies, 52, claimed in an interview with Deadline at their Contenders Emmys event on Sunday, April 7. “The showrunners had found a nice away to reintroduce my character, a story that was to span three episodes. I was really excited about the idea, but CBS refused to pay my [ask].”
The Hot Zone actress is close friends with her Good Wife costars Cush Jumbo and Christine Baranski, who are now on The Good Fight and were part of the reason she wanted to appear. However, she was reportedly offered a guest star rate.
“I’m not a guest star; I started the whole thing with The Good Wife,” the Emmy winner, who played Alicia Florrick in the series and appeared in all 154 episodes. “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.”
In fact, she thought she’d be paid, as well. “To be perfectly honest, I was shocked. I was more surprised than hurt,” she revealed. “I thought, ‘What are you worth?’ If you are worthless, if you are not valued for your work, than what’s the point?”
During the 2019 Television Critics Association winter press tour in February 2019, cocreator Robert King told reporters they had discussions of a story line that would bring Alicia back.
“We thought maybe about making a big episode where she would be at the resistance, Diane and her face each other,” he said at the time. “But that would be the end of the story. It felt like an asterisk.”
Us Weekly has reached out to CBS for comment.
Season 3 of The Good Fight is now streaming on CBS All Access.