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.
Vanna White Should Make …
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.”
Sony, we’re told, is not on board, at least not yet. One source with direct knowledge described the negotiations as “very difficult.”
Our sources also say Vanna feels like the issue is bigger than her. As one source says, “She feels like it’s a statement for all women.”
We’re told Vanna wants to stay on the show, but if she doesn’t get what she believes is “a minimum of what is fair,” that’s a real possibility.
Sony may be in a tough spot here because Vanna provides continuity when Ryan Seacrest takes over for Pat a year from September. It’s pretty clear … they don’t want to lose Pat and Vanna at the same time.
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