Tina Fey didn’t pay me anything for a blockbuster franchise

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Tina Fey Didn’t Pay Me For A Blockbuster Franchise

Author Rosalind Wiseman has seen Mean Girls become a global cultural phenomenon.

She should be delighted to see her book Queen Bees and Wannabes turned into a blockbuster movie, then a Broadway musical — and now that musical is about to be made into a movie too.

But while writer-producer Tina Fey and Paramount Pictures made millions from the franchise, Wiseman made only Over $400,000 and haven’t made a penny since.

She’s now speaking out against real Mean Girls culture and the “painful experience” that prevented her from getting her so-called royalties — she reveals that Paramount even told her the studio didn’t make money from the franchise.

Her attorneys are preparing to take action, she told The Post exclusively, “We’ve reached out to Paramount to make things fairer, but Paramount has no interest in that.”

Screenwriter Rosalind Wiseman is preparing to take legal action after a penny was not paid for the musical or the new “Mean Girls” movie.
Misty Keasler for the New York Post

Tina Fey at the premiere of the musical 'Mean Girls'
Tina Fey at the Broadway premiere of Mean Girls.
Getty Images

It took Wiseman, 54, a long time to fire back. “I’ve been silent about it for a long time, very quietly, but I think there’s just so much hypocrisy,” she said.

“I think it’s only fair that I get some compensation for the work that has changed our culture and our zeitgeist.

“Tina has been gushing about women supporting other women for years, but it has become increasingly clear to me that, in my personal experience, that’s not the case. You don’t just talk about supporting women, you actually do.”

Rosalind Wiseman, Tina Fey, Elijah Edwards
Rosalind Wiseman and son Elijah Edwards welcome Tina Fey to the premiere of Mean Girls 2018. She was so nervous about the lavish evening that she left early.
Getty Images

Wiseman met Fey, the first lead writer on Saturday Night Live, in 2002 after the comedian signed a development deal with Paramount.

After reading Wiseman’s New York Times Magazine cover story, Fahey asked to buy the film rights to “The Queen Bee,” a parent’s guide to teenage girls navigating a difficult world and their friendships.

“When I went to see Tina and Lorne Michaels [‘SNL’ boss and ‘Mean Girls’ producer] It was a “we did it together” experience many years ago, and Wiseman said he chose Fay over many other film proposals.

Rosalind Wiseman
Rosalind Wiseman said she was saddest that Tina Fey didn’t support her as a writer.
Misty Keasler for the New York Post

Fay turned the book into a blockbuster movie starring Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Rachel McAdams and Lacey Chabert also star in the role themselves. Wiseman consulted on the film.

Released on April 30, 2004, “Mean Girls” was an unexpected hit, grossing $130 million worldwide. It had a budget of $17 million, which was then doubled for marketing and PR costs.

“We created it, and Tina took my word for it, and she did an amazing job with it,” Wiseman said. “She brought it to life, a material that has been used and recycled for the past 20 years.

Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert, Rachel McAdams
Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert and Rachel McAdams star as the original Mean Girls.
©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

“Tina clearly recognized that I was a source material, an inspiration. I was recognized, but I didn’t deserve anything?

Wiseman added, “For me, with and without writers is not only hard on the money, it’s painful, very painful.

“That’s really what I work on, especially Mean Girls. Women aren’t necessarily best friends — we can get mad at each other, but at the end of the day, we really need to support each other.” Of Fay, she said, ” Writing is especially difficult for a writer.”

Tina Fey, Lindsay Lohan
Tina Fey and Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls.
CBS via Getty Images

After signing the original contract, Wiseman permanently relinquished all rights to the original film and spinoffs, including musicals and TV projects — though she said no other projects were discussed at the time.

“Just because you can do it doesn’t make it right,” she said. “Yeah, my contract sucks, sucks, but this movie makes a lot of money and they’re recycling my work over and over so they don’t even think about me…”

Even more irritating is Wiseman’s claim that Paramount claimed they didn’t make any money from the franchise.

Her original deal was for net profit points — that is, extra cash based on how well the movie did at the box office.

However, the studio kept telling her that they didn’t make any net profit from Mean Girls and actually incurred so many additional costs that there was nothing to share with her. Wiseman’s attorneys now want to examine Paramount’s books.

Wiseman’s attorney, Ryan Keech, told the Post: “I doubt most people will be appalled by the tragic treatment of Rosalind Wiseman. Actually, it is. Shameful that Paramount’s Resources went out of their way to say no Ms. Wiseman has the rights to create one of the most iconic entertainment franchises of the past 25 years.”

The Post reached out to Fey and Paramount for comment.

Wiseman, the mother of two grown sons, told The Post from her home in Boulder, Colorado, that a theater producer contacted her about filming a Mean Girls musical decades ago. Her agent contacted Fay and Paramount to ask if she could continue filming, but was turned down.

Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert, Rachel McAdams
Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert and Rachel McAdams have all been in talks to star in the new Mean Girls flick but have all received “disrespectful” offers.
©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

Wiseman claims Paramount instead used the agent’s request to prevent her from paying for the musical, claiming it meant she knew she didn’t have title.

“The hard part was they used my name on the program,” Wiseman said. “Tina said in her interviews that I was an inspiration and a source, but nothing was returned.”

However, Wiseman said she worked with Fey to create an educational program for high school students who produced the musical themselves and worked with the cast and crew — for which she was never paid.

Tina Fey
Tina Fey, who wrote and produced Mean Girls, will play Mrs. Norbury, a role she will reprise in the new film.
©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

“When the musical came out, I approached Tina and said it would be a great opportunity to talk about bullying to help parents talk to their kids. She agreed, and I hosted a presentation with the cast and crew about Workshops on bullying because they will be overwhelmed by kids telling them their stories.

“I gave Tina a lot of feedback because I knew high schools were going to be using Mean Girls in their school musical, and I thought we were doing that educational program.”

You don’t just talk about supporting women, you actually do.

Rosalind Wiseman

Wiseman last saw Fay, 52, at the Broadway premiere night on April 8, 2018, with guests including Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld, Jimmy Fallon, Ellie Kemper, Tate Sburgis and Alec and Hilaria Baldwin.

the party Held in downtown TAO Served with Kalpi Brisket Sauce and Peking Duck, Baked Cod and Spring Rolls, and for dessert Brownies wrapped in Queen Bee George’s favorite Kälteen Chocolate Bar.

Rosalind Wiseman, Elijah Edwards
Rosalind Wiseman and her son Elijah Edwards at the premiere of the musical “Mean Girls.”
Bruce Grix/FilmMagic

But that was the final straw that broke Wiseman’s goblet, saying: “For me, there was a moment when I was in this amazing event and I thought how much it must have cost, probably more than I did. Get more.

“There were a lot of executives at Paramount who didn’t know who I was, and I just walked around and thought, ‘Whoa, whoa.’ I had to leave.

“I realized that night that nothing was going to happen to the education program and it made me so angry. Then I contacted my lawyers and they pushed Paramount and said, ‘How could you do this to her? “

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

how Page Six RevealedThe original four stars of Mean Girls have been talking about appearing in the new film, But they were unhappy with Paramount’s “disrespectful” cash offer.

Music Mean Girls
Mean Girls hit Broadway.
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McAdams, who plays Regina George, will play “Cool Mom” ​​Joan George, originally played by Amy Poehler.The current role is Completed by Busy PhilippsAccording to reports, other actresses want to make guest appearances.

Asked about the film at last month’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, Seyfried admitted: “I’m still hoping for a miracle. It’s not up to us, is it?

Says Wiseman, “When I read about the supporting actresses, I really thought ‘This is what this movie is about. They know they’re stronger together than apart.”

Wiseman’s latest book, Bravely Discomfort: How to Have Important, Bold, Life-Changing Conversations About Race and Racism, was released in October, and the press had only heard about the new film a few months ago. Fay, who produces, writes and stars in the project, has not yet reached out to her.

“I haven’t reported for a while for a lot of reasons, one of the reasons over the years is because I was so focused on myself that I didn’t whine or try to destroy Tina,” she said. “It’s not who I am, it’s almost disrespectful of what we’ve been doing. I just feel stuck.

“But I also believe very strongly that when you have power and privilege, you have a responsibility to share it to create equality.”

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