You Want How Much?? 15 Of The Most Outrageous Salary Negotiations

August 13, 2013  |  
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Not every actor is bold enough to announce that they want more money or they’re going to bounce. And when they do, they can be in for a rude awakening. From Bruce Willis to Will Smith, these salary negotiations made headlines, cancelled projects, and made us look at our favorite actors in a new light.

Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis burst into headline news when he demanded $4 million dollars for 4 days worth of work on the next “Expendables” installment. But director Sly Stallone told Bruce he could take the offered $3 million or walk. Three days later, Sly took to Twitter to announce Bruce’s replacement and throw a little shade his way:

“WILLIS OUT… HARRISON FORD IN !!!! GREAT NEWS !!!!! Been waiting years for this!!!!”

The Real Housewives of New York

Salary demands over at Season 6 of RHONY brought filming to a screeching halt back in May. Word is that the wives found out about NeNe Leakes’ million-dollar contract with Bravo and demanded more money. But BRAVO producers said that the RHONY ladies didn’t have the same star power. The salary fight lasted for over a week and producers threatened to scrap the show altogether. When the dust finally settled, Sonja Morgan and Lu Ann de Lesseps were fired and the rest of the ladies received a pay bump. Aviva’s contract was the biggest at $100K which is twice what she made in her first season but far behind NeNe’s pay day.

The Avengers

Marvel has been notoriously stingy with it’s actors’ pay days. While “Iron Man” Robert Downey Jr. made $50 million for the first movie, some of his cast mates were getting as little as $200,000. The negotiations are still going on and with Marvel’s history of strong-arm tactics, we wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a nearly all-new cast in the next installment of the billion-dollar franchise.

Terrence Howard

Terrence Howard was another victim of Marvel’s low-ball salary negotiations. For the first movie, Terrence Howard was the first cast and he made more on that movie than Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges or Robert Dwoney Jr. But producers weren’t prepared to give out the same salaries on the second movie. They cut Terrence’s paycheck “drastically” and Terrence found out online that he’d been replaced by Don Cheadle.

Michael C. Hall

The last two seasons of Dexter almost didn’t happen. When Mike was offered $20 million for the last two seasons of Dexter (that’s over $800K an episode, making him one of the highest-paid actors on TV) he demanded $4 million more ($1M per episode for two years) or he’d walk away from the show. Word on the street is that he wanted out of the series altogether to pursue roles in film and on Broadway. But poor Michael got his millions and now he has to continue working on TV.

Jill Marie Jones

“Girlfriends” lovers have been throwing a lot of shade Jill Marie Jones’ way for quitting the show after she didn’t get a pay bump. But it’s time to clear the air. Jill didn’t leave over the money. She wanted to branch out as an actress and tackle more challenging roles. We can’t be mad at that.

Ron Moss

“The Bold and the Beautiful” fans thought CBS would never let 25-year veteran Ron Moss stop playing Ridge Forrester. But execs proved fans wrong with the shocking announcement that one of daytime TV’s oldest and best love stars was getting the boot. Apparently, they cut Ron’s pay day almost in half. And when Ron demanded more, they showed him the door. That’s cold.

The Cast of The Simpsons

Behind the scenes of America’s favorite cartoon are some of the biggest contract wars in history. In fact, each time contracts are up for renewal, The Simpsons franchise goes on the verge of going under. During the last negotiations, Fox execs tried to cut the voice actors’ salaries by 45 percent — knocking their salaries down from $8 million a season to around $4 million. And they told the actors to take the pay cut or they’d replace them all with sound-alikes. The cast fought tooth and nail, but in the end they had to take the pay cut in exchange for a few back-end profits.

Evelyn Lozada

Before Evelyn put her foot down, the “Basketball Wives” were some of the lowest paid reality stars on TV. Each cast member made around $7,500 per episode, but then Evelyn demanded $20,000 per episode or she was going to walk. Her gamble worked. The undisclosed figure wasn’t 20 grand but we do know that her salary “more than doubled” and that she’s “very happy”. Now she’s opening the door to bigger pay days for her fellow cast mates.

Immortal Technique

Andres Coronel, AKA Immortal Technique, is a conscious rapper and political activist from Harlem via Peru. He rhymes about fighting poverty and standing up to government corruption and institutional racism. But the industry was still shocked to find out that Immortal Technique turned down salary pay day from Mountain Dew.

Why? Because he did a little research on Mountain Dew and found that it’s ingredients caused cancer in lab animals, high heart rates in humans and astronomical sugar levels. Not only that, but the drink is specifically marketed to “urban demographics” which puts minorities at higher risks.

Nicole Scherzinger

Nicole ended years of low-ball salaries at the “X Factor” UK when she threatened to walk after one season unless she got a bigger paycheck. Although Nicole got her start on the show after Kelly Rowland quit over her tiny pay check, this time, Nicole got her money. Maybe the top-grossing show will start shelling out a little more for talent and get some bigger names to host the show.

The Cast of Love and Hip-Hop New York

The cast of LHNNY staged one of the first whole-cast reality show walk-outs when they boycotted filming for this season’s trailer. Half didn’t show up at all and the other half stayed just long enough to throw shade at execs before storming out. Mona Scott-Young had to chase down angry cast members and call up emergency meetings to get the show on a roll. We don’t know what the ladies ended up settling on, but it can’t be much. Ratings for LHHNY are at an all-time low.

Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen’s salary negotiation fallout has earned a place in history. During his last season on the show, Charlie was the highest paid TV actor in the world, making $2M per episode. But Charlie thought he was worth more: $3M per episode to be exact. According to his estimation, the show couldn’t go on without him so he could ask for whatever he wanted. But producer Chuck Lorre shocked us all and shut him down. Charlie melted down into one of the biggest, longest temper tantrums that Hollywood has ever seen and Ashton Kutcher picked up where he left off on “Two and a Half Men.”

Will Smith

Will’s salary negotiations have made some of the biggest headlines in Hollywood. Right now, he’s one of the highest-paid actors on earth. And he’s not afraid to pass on a role if the paycheck isn’t right. He recently quit the lucrative “Independence Day” franchise when they refused his request for $50M for cameos in both movies and roles for his wife and kids. That means no Will in the next two movies. How do you think they’ll do without him?

The Cast of Modern Family

The “Modern Family” negotiations were the most contentious in TV history. The six adult cast members went as far as to sue ABC before contract negotiations came to a close. The trouble was that while Ed O’Neil made $105K per episode, other cast members made just over half that — despite all of the money the show was pulling in. In the end, sticking to their guns worked. Now the entire cast is making around $350K per episode including back-end profits.

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