‘Mean Girl’ Tina Fey paid me nothing for hit franchise: creator

Author Rosalind Wiseman has watched as “Mean Girls” turned a world cultural phenomenon.

She needs to be thrilled that her ebook, “Queen Bees and Wannabes,” was became successful film, then a Broadway musical — and now the musical is to be became a film too.

However whereas author and producer Tina Fey and Paramount Photos have made tens of millions out of the franchise, Wiseman has made simply over $400,000 after signing a deal to promote her movie rights again in 2002, and never a cent since.

Now, she is talking out towards a real-life Imply Ladies tradition and the “painful experience” that has stopped her from getting her alleged dues — revealing Paramount has even instructed her the studio has not made any revenue from the franchise.

Her attorneys are making ready to take motion, and he or she instructed The Submit solely: “We have reached out to Paramount to have things be more equitable, but Paramount is not interested in that.”

Author Rosalind Wiseman is poised to take authorized motion after not getting a penny for the “Mean Girls” musical or new film.
Misty Keasler for NY Submit

Tina Fey at Mean Girls musical opening night
Tina Fey on the opening evening of the “Mean Girls” Broadway musical.
Getty Pictures

It’s taken rather a lot for Wiseman, 54, to hit again. “For so long I was so quiet about it, so, so quiet, but I just feel like the hypocrisy is too much,” she mentioned.

“I feel it’s honest for me to have the ability to get compensated indirectly for the work that has modified our tradition and adjusted the zeitgeist.

“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.”

Rosalind Wiseman and son Elijah Edwards greet Tina Fey on the premiere of the “Mean Girls” musical in 2018. She was so upset by the lavish after-party that she left early.
Getty Pictures

Wiseman met Fey, the primary feminine head author on “Saturday Night Live,” in 2002 after the comedy star signed a improvement take care of Paramount.

Fey requested to purchase the movie rights to “Queen Bees,” which guides dad and mom on methods to navigate the rocky world of stripling ladies and their friendships, after studying Wiseman’s New York Occasions Journal cowl story.

“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,” mentioned Wiseman, who selected Fey above a number of different movie affords.

Rosalind Wiseman says that she’s most upset that Tina Fey has not supported her as a fellow author.
Misty Keasler for NY Submit

Fey turned the ebook right into a blockbuster movie starring Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Rachel McAdams and Lacey Chabert, additionally taking a task herself. Wiseman consulted on the film.

Launched on April 30, 2004, “Mean Girls” was a shock hit and grossed $130 million worldwide. It had a $17 million price range, which then was doubled to incorporate advertising and marketing and PR prices.

“We created this thing, Tina took my words, she did an extraordinary job with it,” Wiseman saids. “She introduced it to life and the fabric has been used and recycled for the final 20 years.

Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert and Rachel McAdams as the unique Imply Ladies.
©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Assortment

“I’m clearly recognized and acknowledged by Tina as the source material, the inspiration. I’m recognized and yet I deserve nothing?”

Wiseman added: “For me, having a feminine author and never having that occur has not solely been tough due to the cash, but it surely’s additionally been painful, very painful.

“It’s really what my work has been about, especially ‘Mean Girls.’ Women don’t have to be best friends — we can get mad at each other, but when it comes down to it we need to actually support each other.” Referring to Fey, she mentioned: “That has been especially hard as a writer to writer.”

Tina Fey and Lindsay Lohan in “Mean Girls.”
CBS through Getty Pictures

In signing her authentic contract, Wiseman signed away in perpetuity all rights to authentic movement footage and by-product works, together with musicals and TV tasks — though she mentioned there was no dialogue of every other tasks on the time.

“Just because you can doesn’t make it right,” she mentioned. “Sure, I had a horrible contract, horrible, however the film has made a lot cash, and so they maintain recycling my work again and again, so to not even take into account me … “

To make issues extra infuriating, Wiseman claimed, Paramount insists it has made no cash from the franchise.

Her authentic contract included web revenue factors — that’s, further money depending on how properly the film fares on the field workplace.

Nevertheless, the studio has regularly instructed her they’ve made no web earnings from “Mean Girls” and have really incurred a lot further price there’s nothing left to share together with her. Wiseman’s attorneys now wish to audit Paramount’s books.

Wiseman’s lawyer, Ryan Keech, instructed the Submit: “I suspect most people would be shocked at how shabbily Rosalind Wiseman has been treated. And properly so. It is nothing short of shameful for a company with the resources of Paramount to go to the lengths to which it has gone to deny Ms. Wiseman what she is fairly entitled to for having created what has become one of the most iconic entertainment franchises of the last 25 years.”

The Submit has reached out to Fey and Paramount for remark.

Talking from her Boulder, Colorado, residence, Wiseman, a mother of two grown sons, instructed The Submit {that a} theater producer had reached out to her many years in the past about making a “Mean Girls” musical. Her agent contacted Fey and Paramount, asking if she might go forward, however was instructed no.

Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert and Rachel McAdams have been in talks to look within the new “Mean Girls” film, however got a “disrespectful” supply.
©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Assortment

Wiseman alleged that as a substitute Paramount used the request from the agent to cease her from being paid for the musical, by claiming that it meant she was conscious she had no possession of the rights.

“What’s hard is that they used my name in the Playbill,” Wiseman mentioned. “And Tina, in her interviews, said I was the inspiration and the source, but there was no payment.”

Nevertheless, she did work with Fey on producing an academic program for prime schoolers doing their very own productions of the musical and labored with solid and crew — for which she has by no means been paid, Wiseman mentioned.

Tina Fey wrote and produced “Mean Girls” and in addition performed Ms. Norbury — a task she’ll reprise within the new film.
©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Assortment

“When the musical was popping out, I approached Tina and mentioned that is a tremendous alternative to speak about bullying, to assist dad and mom speak to youngsters. She agreed and I did a workshop with the solid and the crew about bullying as a result of they have been going to get inundated with youngsters who have been speaking to them about their tales.

“I gave Tina so many notes as I knew high schools are going to use “Mean Girls” for his or her faculty musicals and I assumed we have been working in direction of this schooling program.”

You don’t simply discuss supporting ladies, you really do it.

Rosalind Wiseman

The final time that Wiseman noticed Fey, 52, was on April 8, 2018 — the evening of the Broadway premiere, with visitors together with Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld, Jimmy Fallon, Ellie Kemper, Titus Burgess and Alec and Hilaria Baldwin.

The celebration was held at TAO downtown with a ramification of kalbi sirloin and Peking duck, roasted cod and spring rolls, plus brownies packaged as Queen Bee Regina George’s favourite Kälteen Bars for dessert.

Rosalind Wiseman and her son Elijah Edwards on the opening evening of the “Mean Girls” musical.
Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

However this was the straw that broke the camel’s again for Wiseman, who mentioned, “There was a second for me, I used to be at this unimaginable celebration and I’m pondering how a lot cash this celebration will need to have price, in all probability greater than I used to be paid.

“There have been all these Paramount execs who had no thought who I used to be and I’m simply strolling round going, ‘Wow, wow.’ I needed to go away.

“I realized that night that nothing was going to happen with the educational program and that made me really angry. That’s when I reached out to my lawyers and they pushed Paramount and said, ‘How can you be doing this to her?’”

The author claimed: “They never compensated me for the work I did, they never compensated me for the training I did for the cast and the crew.”

As Web page Six revealed, 4 of the unique “Mean Girls” stars have been in talks to look within the new film, however have been left upset over Paramount’s “disrespectful” cash supply.

The “Mean Girls” musical hit Broadway with a bang.

McAdams — who performed Regina George — was imagined to play “cool mom” June George, initially performed by Amy Poehler. The position has now been taken by Busy Philipps, whereas the opposite actresses reportedly needed to make cameo appearances.

Requested concerning the film on the SAG Awards final month, Seyfried admitted: “I’m still hoping for a miracle. It’s not really up to us, is it?”

Wiseman mentioned, “When I read about the actresses supporting each other, I really thought ‘that’s what this movie is about. They knew they were stronger together than apart.”

Wiseman, whose final ebook “Courageous Discomfort: How to Have Important, Brave, Life-Changing Conversations about Race and Racism,” was launched in October, solely heard concerning the new film a number of months in the past within the press. She was not contacted by Fey, who’s producing, writing and co-starring within the undertaking.

“For a lot of reasons I didn’t come forward for a while and one of the reasons for all of these years —because I was so focused on me not whining or trying to trash Tina,” she mentioned. “That’s simply not who I’m and it’s nearly disrespectful to the content material of what we have been doing. I simply felt so trapped.

“But also, I believe really strongly when you’re in a position of power and privilege that you have a responsibility to share that to create equity.”

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