The Big Bang Theory‘s Mayim Bialik has responded to rumours that her co-stars took pay cuts so she and Melissa Rauch could each have a rise.
It was reported in March that the show’s five original cast members – Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg — are now taking home $1 million (£800,000) per episode for their work on the CBS sitcom.
Co-stars Bialik and Rauch, who joined in season three and became main cast members during season four, are believed to be earning a much smaller $200,000 (£160,000) per episode.
According to Variety, each of the originals offered to take a $100,000 (£80,000) per episode pay cut to free up extra money for Bialik and Rauch during seasons 11 and 12. This would provide enough extra money for the two actresses to take home $450,000 (£360,000) an episode – more than double their current salary.
However, Bialik has now hinted that the rumour could be unsubstantiated. “I think in general, don’t believe everything you read. I’m not specifically speaking about that,” she told People.
“I think in particular with things with TV and movies, there’s a lot of moving parts that are part of the business, and the corporate and the finance, and things that honestly I really kind of tell my lawyer, ‘Just wake me when it’s over,'” she continued.
Bialik also insisted there is no tension on the Big Bang set. “I’m happy to report that we have a very cohesive cast and we all know that our strength is together,” she added. “We all really love each other, we love going to work and we’re very excited to do two more seasons.”
It has long been rumoured that the cast of another huge US sitcom, Friends, joined together to secure a $1 million per episode salary each during the show’s later seasons. When Friends began in 1994, they took home $20,000 £16,000) per episode each. Lisa Kudrow is said to have spearheaded the successful joint negotiations.