Tina Fey paid me nothing for hit franchise

Writer Rosalind Wiseman has watched as “Mean Girls” turned a worldwide cultural phenomenon.

She ought to be thrilled that her guide, “Queen Bees and Wannabes,” was become a success film, then a Broadway musical — and now the musical is to be become a film too.

But whereas author and producer Tina Fey and Paramount Pictures have made hundreds of thousands 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 Mean Girls tradition and the “painful expertise” that has stopped her from getting her alleged dues — revealing Paramount has even informed her the studio has not made any revenue from the franchise.

Her attorneys are making ready to take motion, and he or she informed The Post solely: “We have reached out to Paramount to have issues be extra equitable, however Paramount just isn’t serious about that.”

Rosalind Wiseman
Writer 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 Post

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

It’s taken so much for Wiseman, 54, to hit again. “For so lengthy I used to be so quiet about it, so, so quiet, however I simply really feel just like the hypocrisy is an excessive amount of,” she stated.

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

“Over the years Tina’s spoken so eloquently about girls supporting different girls, however it’s gotten more and more clear to me that, in my very own private expertise, that’s not going to be the expertise. You don’t simply speak about supporting girls, you truly do it.”

Rosalind Wiseman, Tina Fey, Elijah Edwards
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 Images

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

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

“When I went to fulfill Tina and Lorne Michaels [‘SNL’ boss and ‘Mean Girls’ producer] a few years in the past, it was very a lot a ‘we’re doing this collectively’ type of expertise,” stated Wiseman, who selected Fey above a number of different movie presents.

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

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

Released 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 factor, Tina took my phrases, she did a rare 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, Rachel McAdams
Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert and Rachel McAdams as the unique Mean Girls.
©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

“I’m clearly acknowledged and acknowledged by Tina because the supply materials, the inspiration. I’m acknowledged and but I deserve nothing?”

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

“It’s actually what my work has been about, particularly ‘Mean Girls.’ Women don’t should be finest associates — we are able to get mad at one another, however when it comes right down to it we have to truly help one another.” Referring to Fey, she stated: “That has been particularly exhausting as a author to author.”

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

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

“Just as a result of you possibly can doesn’t make it proper,” she stated. “Yes, I had a horrible contract, horrible, however the film has made a lot cash, and so they preserve recycling my work again and again, so to not even contemplate 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, additional money depending on how properly the film fares on the field workplace.

However, the studio has regularly informed her they’ve made no web income from “Mean Girls” and have truly incurred a lot additional value there’s nothing left to share along with her. Wiseman’s attorneys now wish to audit Paramount’s books.

Wiseman’s lawyer, Ryan Keech, informed the Post: “I think most individuals could be shocked at how shabbily Rosalind Wiseman has been handled. And correctly so. It is nothing wanting shameful for a corporation with the assets of Paramount to go to the lengths to which it has gone to disclaim Ms. Wiseman what she is pretty entitled to for having created what has develop into one of the crucial iconic leisure franchises of the final 25 years.”

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

Speaking from her Boulder, Colorado, dwelling, Wiseman, a mother of two grown sons, informed The Post {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 may go forward, however was informed no.

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

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 exhausting is that they used my title within the Playbill,” Wiseman stated. “And Tina, in her interviews, stated I used to be the inspiration and the supply, however there was no cost.”

However, she did work with Fey on producing an academic program for top 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 stated.

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

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

“I gave Tina so many notes as I knew excessive faculties are going to make use of “Mean Girls” for his or her college musicals and I believed we had been working in direction of this schooling program.”

You don’t simply speak about supporting girls, you truly 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 get together was held at TAO downtown with a selection 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, Elijah Edwards
Rosalind Wiseman and her son Elijah Edwards on the opening evening of the “Mean Girls” musical.
Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

But this was the straw that broke the camel’s again for Wiseman, who stated, “There was a second for me, I used to be at this unbelievable get together and I’m considering how a lot cash this get together should have value, in all probability greater than I used to be paid.

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

“I noticed that evening that nothing was going to occur with the tutorial program and that made me actually offended. That’s once I reached out to my attorneys and so they pushed Paramount and stated, ‘How are you able to be doing this to her?’”

The author claimed: “They by no means compensated me for the work I did, they by no means compensated me for the coaching I did for the solid and the crew.”

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

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

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

Asked in regards to the film on the SAG Awards final month, Seyfried admitted: “I’m nonetheless hoping for a miracle. It’s not likely as much as us, is it?”

Wiseman stated, “When I learn in regards to the actresses supporting one another, I actually thought ‘that’s what this film is about. They knew they had been stronger collectively than aside.”

Wiseman, whose final guide “Courageous Discomfort: How to Have Important, Brave, Life-Changing Conversations about Race and Racism,” was launched in October, solely heard in regards to 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 quite a lot of causes I didn’t come ahead for some time and one of many causes for all of those years —as a result of I used to be so centered on me not whining or attempting to trash Tina,” she stated. “That’s simply not who I’m and it’s nearly disrespectful to the content material of what we had been doing. I simply felt so trapped.

“But additionally, I imagine actually strongly whenever you’re able of energy and privilege that you’ve a duty to share that to create fairness.”

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