There are a lot of reasons to idolize Judge Judy, a.k.a Judy Sheindlin - we're still recovering from that iconic dog moment last week – the latest one being the fact that she's apparently a badass when it comes to salary negotiation.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, Sheindlin's influence at CBS came up as part of a contract lawsuit between the network and talent agency Rebel Entertainment Partners over disputed profits from Judge Judy. In brief, Rebel is complaining that Sheindlin's huge payday is eating into their net profits from the show, while CBS argues that the agency's role in the show is minimal, and gives them no contractual right to challenge budget costs.
In a transcript of her videotaped testimony obtained by THR, Sheindlin said that Rebel's president Richard Lawrence should be happy with the profits he's already received, because "CBS had no choice but to pay me what I wanted, because otherwise I could take it wherever I wanted to take it, or do it myself."
"Mr. Lawrence should actually be kissing this right in Macy's window, because my contract with CBS for more than a decade now does not include a last look ... Which means they can't match another offer, which means I can produce this show myself for decades." If she wanted to, Sheindlin could make an extra $20 million per year if she produced the show herself, but opts not to because "How much can you eat?"
Here's what Sheindlin's annual salary conversation with the CBS president looks like: Over a nice dinner, she hands over an envelope containing her salary demands for both herself and the show's crew and production. "I hand him the envelope and I say, 'Don't read it now, let's have a nice dinner. Call me tomorrow. You want it, fine. Otherwise, I'll produce it myself.' That's the negotiation."
And that's how it's done.
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