Leslie Jones says she had to 'fight' to be paid just 1% of Melissa McCarthy's salary in 'Ghostbusters'

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By Asiya Ali

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Leslie Jones has revealed that she had to fight to get one percent of her co-star Melissa McCarthy's salary in 2016's Ghostbusters.

The 56-year-old Saturday Night Live alum co-led the reboot of the classic 1980s films alongside McCarthy, Wiig, and Kate McKinnon. The four portrayed paranormal researchers who try to prove the existence of ghosts.

The third film in the franchise was written by Katie Dippold and Feig. However, it was deemed a box office flop as it lost a whopping $70 million during its theatrical run.

In an excerpt of her new memoir Leslie F***ing Jones, published via Rolling Stone, the comedian opened up about her devastating experience working on the comedy fantasy.

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Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon and Kristen Wiig. Credit: Todd Williamson / Getty

Jones heartbreakingly shared that she had to "fight" for her pay whilst working on the reboot, revealing: "It was made clear to me at times during the process that I was lucky to even be on that movie."

"But honestly, I was thinking, 'I don’t have to be in this muthaf***a,' especially as I got paid way less than Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig," Jones claimed, per the outlet. "No knock on them, but my first offer was to do that movie for $67,000. I had to fight to get more (in the end I got $150k)."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, McCarthy, 53, went on to earn $14 million for her role as Abby Yates in the film, which had a budget of $150m - a shocking contrast compared to Jones' paycheck.

"But the message was clear: 'This is gonna blow you up - after this, you’re made for life,' all that kind of s***, as though I hadn’t had decades of a successful career already," Jones added. "And in the end, all it made for me was heartache and one big-a** controversy."

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Wiig, McKinnon, McCarthy, and Jones on the set of Ghostbusters. Credit: Bobby Bank / Getty

Elsewhere in the excerpt, Jones reflected on director Jason Reitman's "unforgivable" comment after announcing his plans to make Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) - which followed Feig's 2016 all-female version.

Reitman, whose father Ivan directed the original two 1980s Ghostbusters films, said that he was "trying to go back to the original technique and hand the movie back to the fans" on a Bill Burr podcast, per Deadline.

The filmmaker tried to take back the comments after he faced backlash on social media. He ultimately said in a post on X that his remark "came out wrong" and that he has "nothing but admiration for Paul and Leslie and Kate and Melissa and Kristen and the bravery with which they made Ghostbusters 2016".

However, the comedian wasn't buying it in her memoir as she wrote that his words were "unforgivable," adding: "The damage was done. Bringing up the idea of giving the movie 'back to the fans’ was a pretty clear shout-out to all those losers who went after us for making an all-female film."

Jones also said that she "got taken through the ringer" of negativity surrounding her Ghostbusters role, noting: "I can’t believe anyone would do this s*** to someone, anyone, for working," in regards to the "racial slurs and worse" that were being directed at her. "This is awful. I am in a movie. Death threats for something as small as that?"

She deactivated her Twitter account soon after the film’s release, tweeting at the time: "I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart. All this ’cause I did a movie. You can hate the movie but the s- I got today … wrong," as cited by the outlet.

You can read more about Jones' experience in the Ghostbusters movie in her memoir, Leslie F*cking Jones, which is available to purchase now.

Featured image credit: Arturo Holmes / Getty

Leslie Jones says she had to 'fight' to be paid just 1% of Melissa McCarthy's salary in 'Ghostbusters'

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

Leslie Jones has revealed that she had to fight to get one percent of her co-star Melissa McCarthy's salary in 2016's Ghostbusters.

The 56-year-old Saturday Night Live alum co-led the reboot of the classic 1980s films alongside McCarthy, Wiig, and Kate McKinnon. The four portrayed paranormal researchers who try to prove the existence of ghosts.

The third film in the franchise was written by Katie Dippold and Feig. However, it was deemed a box office flop as it lost a whopping $70 million during its theatrical run.

In an excerpt of her new memoir Leslie F***ing Jones, published via Rolling Stone, the comedian opened up about her devastating experience working on the comedy fantasy.

wp-image-1263229713 size-full
Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon and Kristen Wiig. Credit: Todd Williamson / Getty

Jones heartbreakingly shared that she had to "fight" for her pay whilst working on the reboot, revealing: "It was made clear to me at times during the process that I was lucky to even be on that movie."

"But honestly, I was thinking, 'I don’t have to be in this muthaf***a,' especially as I got paid way less than Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig," Jones claimed, per the outlet. "No knock on them, but my first offer was to do that movie for $67,000. I had to fight to get more (in the end I got $150k)."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, McCarthy, 53, went on to earn $14 million for her role as Abby Yates in the film, which had a budget of $150m - a shocking contrast compared to Jones' paycheck.

"But the message was clear: 'This is gonna blow you up - after this, you’re made for life,' all that kind of s***, as though I hadn’t had decades of a successful career already," Jones added. "And in the end, all it made for me was heartache and one big-a** controversy."

wp-image-1263229712 size-full
Wiig, McKinnon, McCarthy, and Jones on the set of Ghostbusters. Credit: Bobby Bank / Getty

Elsewhere in the excerpt, Jones reflected on director Jason Reitman's "unforgivable" comment after announcing his plans to make Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) - which followed Feig's 2016 all-female version.

Reitman, whose father Ivan directed the original two 1980s Ghostbusters films, said that he was "trying to go back to the original technique and hand the movie back to the fans" on a Bill Burr podcast, per Deadline.

The filmmaker tried to take back the comments after he faced backlash on social media. He ultimately said in a post on X that his remark "came out wrong" and that he has "nothing but admiration for Paul and Leslie and Kate and Melissa and Kristen and the bravery with which they made Ghostbusters 2016".

However, the comedian wasn't buying it in her memoir as she wrote that his words were "unforgivable," adding: "The damage was done. Bringing up the idea of giving the movie 'back to the fans’ was a pretty clear shout-out to all those losers who went after us for making an all-female film."

Jones also said that she "got taken through the ringer" of negativity surrounding her Ghostbusters role, noting: "I can’t believe anyone would do this s*** to someone, anyone, for working," in regards to the "racial slurs and worse" that were being directed at her. "This is awful. I am in a movie. Death threats for something as small as that?"

She deactivated her Twitter account soon after the film’s release, tweeting at the time: "I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart. All this ’cause I did a movie. You can hate the movie but the s- I got today … wrong," as cited by the outlet.

You can read more about Jones' experience in the Ghostbusters movie in her memoir, Leslie F*cking Jones, which is available to purchase now.

Featured image credit: Arturo Holmes / Getty