I have zero inside intel on Julianna Margulies, but she left a bad taste in my mouth during her stint on The Good Wife when she filmed her final scene with Archie Panjabi via green screen because their relationship had apparently grown so contentious they could not be in the same room with one another. As for Archie, she insisted she was ready and willing to film, which suggests the camera trick was at Margulies’ request.
Margulies recently reentered the conversation when she was slated to appear on The Good Fight, but the deal did not close. She has since 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.” She furthered, “I’m not a guest star; I started the whole thing with The Good Wife.”
Though I also support equal pay, I’m not sure her argument applies in this case. For starters, we would have to compare her The Good Fight offer to an equal situation involving a man, not an imaginary one. In fact, even with a more thought out imaginary example, it does not make sense. If Matthew Perry were to guest star on Joey (the ill-fated Friends spinoff), would he be paid the one million dollar episodic fee that he received for Friends? The answer to that question is obvious.
Though Margulies insists she is not a guest star, she is, by definition, a guest star. Negotiations are contentious by design, and not everyone gets what they want. As we saw with Michelle Williams, there are certainly cases where gender plays a very clear role. I’m just not sure this is one of them.