TMZ- Vanna White has got Sony spinning these days because she won't continue on "Wheel of Fortune" unless she makes at least half of what Pat Sajak has been making … sources tell TMZ.
Sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations say Vanna is clear -- she's the cohost of the long-running show, so the pay disparity between her and Pat needs to be squarely addressed. Point of fact … they're introduced this way on 'Wheel' -- "Here are the stars of our show, Pat Sajak and Vanna White."
So they're introduced as equals, but their salaries are anything but. We've confirmed Vanna's salary -- $3 million a year. And get this -- we've confirmed that's what she's made for the last 18 YEARS. She has not gotten a single pay increase in all that time.
Pat reportedly makes around $15 million a year. Vanna isn't asking for that, but we're told her lawyer, Bryan Freedman, is demanding half the amount Pat makes.
One source connected to Vanna put it this way … "After 41 years as a model employee and more the face of that show than him [Pat], asking for 50% of what he makes seems like a no-brainer."
Wait…WHAT?!? I'm not shocked to see that the two names of Wheel of Fortune combine for a little less than $20 million to show up to work for a handful of days for a show that has been a cash cow forever. What I am floored over is the difference in salary of the two names.
This is like the Scottie Pippen contract issue from The Last Dance except it was Michael Jordan who is getting the short end of the stick because, let's be honest, Vanna has been the face of the show for decades (I know MJ was criminally underpaid for what he did for years as well but work with me here). Sajak is just Merv Griffin Enterprises' stooge that throws a suit on, asks a couple of questions to the contestants, then smugly turns the knife in them when revealing which prize they didn't win because they couldn't solve the always way too tough final puzzle.
But it was always Vanna that got the people going and put asses in the seats from the studio audience to the couches at home. Sure most of her job was smiling, clapping, and revealing the letters. But that's just good work if you can get it, which she did, and she should have been paid AT LEAST one penny more than Sajak made every season. If anything, Sajak should be dreaming of living off the crumbs of what Vanna is making, not the other way around. I don't know who Vanna's agent is, but that entire agency need to be fired Ari Gold style.
I also wouldn't put it past Pat to be the one who leaked these negotiations in order to make his daughter appear as an option to become the next Vanna so the Sajak name can keep cashing them Wheel checks once Ryan Seacrest takes over and brings a charisma the Jeopardy/Wheel hosts have been missing since my man Trebek passed away.