After months of tense negotiations, Vanna White has finally reached an agreement concerning her Wheel of Fortune contract.
As Monsters and Critics previously reported, the 66-year-old game show hostess has been in talks with Sony Pictures Television.
After 41 years as Pat Sajak’s trusty sidekick on Wheel of Fortune, Vanna has yet to see a pay increase in the last 18 years.
But now, that’s about to change.
Although Vanna has yet to settle the score as far as her contract is concerned, we can report that she’ll be receiving a much heftier salary.
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TMZ reported that sources close to Vanna say that Vanna has received a “substantial pay increase.”
Vanna White’s lawyer negotiated a hefty salary increase for the longtime Wheel of Fortune hostess
Vanna has earned $3 million per year for nearly two decades, a drop in the bucket compared to her co-host Pat Sajak’s $15 million salary.
Vanna’s lawyer, Bryan Freedman, went to bat for the Wheel of Fortune tile-turner, engaging in “very difficult negotiations” with Sony Pictures Television.
Freedman was looking for Sony Pictures Television to pay Vanna at least half of Pat’s salary, which equates to $7.5 million per year. This comes on the heels of reports that Vanna was looking to up the ante and earn the same, if not more, than Pat Sajak.
In addition, TMZ says that Freedman had a clause removed from Vanna’s contract that previously released the studio from any claims Vanna may have.
Will Vanna sue Sony Pictures Television for gender inequality?
There is also chatter that Freedman is looking into opening a gender discrimination suit against Sony Pictures Television due to her and Pat’s unequal pay.
Although Vanna doesn’t talk or interact with contestants nearly as much as Pat during Wheel of Fortune episodes, she’s still there for the entire show, each and every time, which leads many to question why she wouldn’t rake in a hefty salary like her male counterpart.
Whether or not Vanna will formally file a lawsuit against Sony Pictures Television remains to be seen, but it certainly wouldn’t come as a shock, given the circumstances.
In regards to salary inequality, was the writing on the wall all along? Interestingly, in 2019, during an interview with Esquire, Vanna talked about replacing Pat while he was out for emergency bowel surgery and joked that she works harder than he does.
“My position is much more, what’s the word? I work a lot harder. I’ve walked thousands of miles,” Vanna told the publication. “And he didn’t have to do that. In my heels, no less.”
It appeared that Vanna’s comments were lighthearted, but perhaps she was sending a subtle hint all along.
Wheel of Fortune airs weeknights on ABC.