Vanna White, the beloved co–host of Wheel of Fortune, is demanding more money from her bosses or she’s walking. White wants a salary hike equivalent to that of her outgoing co–host, Pat Sajak.
White, who’s been at Sajak’s side since 1982, has been with the show for 41 seasons and drawing down the same annual wage of $3 million since 2005. But Sajak has announced his retirement from the show after this season, and White has reportedly retained Bryan Freedman, the entertainment lawyer said to be helping Don Lemon and Tucker Carlson with their breakups from CNN and Fox News.
White, according to TMZ, is using her salary negotiations as a “statement” for all women and is seeking half of what Sajak pulls in yearly, roughly $7.5 million. White is now in the difficult process of negotiating with Sony Pictures Television Studios, the show’s production company.
The gender pay discrepancy has been a hot topic in recent years, and although progress has been made to combat this, a Pew Research study shows that women still earn an average of 18% less than their male counterparts. White’s desire for a salary increase serves as an example of how women can take a stand to defend their rights in the workplace.
White took to Twitter to express her gratitude for the 41st year alongside Sajak. “When we started @WheelofFortune who could have imagined we’d still be at it 41 seasons later? I couldn’t be happier to have shared the stage with you for all these years with one more to come”, White wrote in a tweet.
The show will continue with a new host in Ryan Seacrest, but how the future of Wheel of Fortune will shape up in the midst of White’s contract negotiations is yet to be seen. Though White is only asking for half of Sajak’s current remuneration, it’s clear that the long–time co–host wants to be paid what she deserves.