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I'm lucky that I can walk away from a job: Julianna Margulies on 'The Good Fight' pay dispute

twitter-logoPTI | June 5, 2019 | Updated 09:53 IST

By Radhika Sharma New Delhi, Jun 5 (PTI) Julianna Margulies' disagreement with bosses at CBS network about her pay in "The Good Wife" sequel did not break into the media from the word go. The actor, who led the critically-acclaimed legal drama as housewife-turned-litigator Alicia Florrick for seven years, decided to break her silence as she gradually realised she was "covering up the reasons" for not starring in "The Good Fight". "... Whenever I do press someone asks me, why aren't you going on 'The Good Fight'? I had already said yes to going on 'The Good Fight'. It was CBS's decision not to pay me my salary. I realised that I just wasn't doing any service to the other women in my business by staying quiet. "I felt very good about finally just letting the truth out and saying it's not that I don't want to do the show, it's that CBS has chosen not to value my contribution to the show, and therefore I won't be doing it," Margulies told PTI in a telephonic interview from New York. She said it was "not a feud" with CBS and she is currently in a deal with the network. "We actually have a great relationship, but they need to be aware that women need to be treated equally to men." Margulies, who won a Golden Globe and two Emmy awards for her performance in "The Good Wife", said she is "lucky" to be at a juncture in her career where she can afford to turn down a project. "I'm in a very lucky position that I can walk away from a job. Most actors canít do that. So I felt it was my responsibility to shed light on the fact that if I had been a man who had had a number one show on CBS for seven years and then there was a spinoff show, that man would have been paid much more than I was even asking for. I was only asking for my 'Good Wife' salary, which seemed fair and just," she said. "I want to stop this ridiculous inequality that women face constantly when it comes to salary. I needed to clarify that and stop protecting the men that made the decision not to pay me," she added. The 52-year-old actor currently stars in "The Hot Zone" as real-life figure Dr Nancy Jaax, a US Army scientist who is appointed to work on the Ebola outbreak operation for their United States Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). The six-part limited series from National Geographic is based on Richard Preston's 1994 book of the same name. From Alicia to Nancy, Margulies has mostly played layered and accomplished women dealing with a personal and professional life, something that she believes is increasingly becoming the norm rather than being an exception. "The truth of the matter is, this is the first scripted television show that Nat Geo has done where a woman was the lead, so that in and of itself is a huge feat I think for women in general. Rome wasn't built in a day, you know? "So, it's not exactly where I would love it to be, but I see a huge change and a huge shift in the landscape of my business, film and television, celebrating women and hopefully getting to the place where it's an equal playing field," she said. "The Hot Zone", which hails from Fox 21 Television Studios, is streaming on Hotstar Premium. PTI RDS BK RB RB

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