According to a report by Huffington Post, the five most popular stars on the CBS hit comedy, The Big Bang Theory, have volunteered to take a reduced salary so that their female co-stars, who make considerably less per episode, can get raises.
Currently, leading stars Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper), Johnny Galecki (Leonard Hofstadter), Kaley Cuoco (Penny), Kunal Nayyar (Raj Koothrappali), and Simon Helberg (Howard Wolowitz) are the highest paid actors on television, all earning a whopping $1,000,000 per episode filmed. However, Big Bang supporting actresses Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler) and Melissa Rauch (Bernadette) only pull in $200,000 per episode, despite their increased appearances on the series.
In order to offset this seemingly unfair issue, the show's five leads have reportedly agreed to each take $100,000 pay cuts so that Bialik and Rauch can receive raises starting at $450,000 each. However, some sources are now reporting that the supporting actresses may be seeking salaries equivalent to the show's leads.
Many will agree that Bialik and Rauch's excellent performances more than earn them the right to higher pay. Bialik's performance as Sheldon's girlfriend Amy has earned her four Emmy nominations since debuting on the series in its third season. Rauch's character Bernadette has also become a staple of the series recently, following the on-screen birth of her and Howard's child.
For years, The Big Bang Theory has been television’s highest-rated comedy for the key demographic (18-to-49-year-olds). In the show's most recent season, the series averaged 20 million viewers per episode. The Big Bang Theory cast is gearing up to take their plans to the contract negotiation table later this week, though representatives for the stars were not available for comment.
Do you think Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch's roles as Amy and Bernadette, respectively, are enough to merit them respectable raises? How do you feel about Big Bang's leading stars volunteering to take pay cuts to support them? Sound off in the comments below!