'Mean Girls' author Rosalind Wiseman accuses Tina Fey of not paying her for hit franchise
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Rosalind Wiseman, the writer of the teen classic 'Mean Girls', accused producer and actress Tina Fey of not paying her a single cent for the movie's franchise, Mean Girl Musical.
According to Wiseman, Fey wanted to buy the film rights to her book 'Queen Bees and Wannabes.' Later, she turned it into the globally successful hit 'Mean Girls,' starring Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Rachel McAdams, and Lacey Chabert, as well as taking on a role herself. After that, it was turned into a Broadway musical and now the musical is to be turned into a movie as well. But while Fey and the production house, Paramount Pictures, have made millions out of the franchise, Wiseman has made just over $400,000 after signing a deal to sell her film rights to Fey back in 2002 and she claimed that she has received not a single cent after that.
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'The hypocrisy is too much'
"We have reached out to Paramount to have things be more equitable, but Paramount is not interested in that", the writer said in a conversation with NY Post. "For so long I was so quiet about it—so, so quiet—but I just feel like the hypocrisy is too much. I think it’s fair for me to be able to get compensated in some way for the work that has changed our culture and changed the zeitgeist", she continued.
"Over the years, Tina’s spoken so eloquently about women supporting other women, but it’s gotten increasingly clear to me that, in my own personal experience, that’s not going to be the experience. You don’t just talk about supporting women, you actually do it", Wiseman added.
The writer also talked about the time, she and Fey met and discussed the movie. "When I went to meet Tina and Lorne Michaels [‘SNL’ boss and ‘Mean Girls’ producer] many years ago, it was very much a ‘we’re doing this together’ kind of experience," she said while revealing that she chose Fey over other offers.
'Yet I deserved nothing?'
"We created this thing; Tina took my words, and she did an extraordinary job with it," Wiseman said. "She brought it to life, and the material has been used and recycled for the last 20 years. I’m clearly recognized and acknowledged by Tina as the source material, the inspiration. I’m recognized, and yet I deserve nothing?", the devastated writer asked,
When, Wiseman sold the movie to Fey, in signing her original contract, she signed away in perpetuity all rights to original motion pictures and derivative works, including musicals and TV projects, although she claimed that there was no discussion of any other projects at the time.
"Just because you can doesn’t make it right. Yes, I had a terrible contract, terrible, but the movie has made so much money, and they keep recycling my work over and over again, so to not even consider me... ", she added while revealing that her lawyers are preparing to take action against Fey and Paramount Pictures.