Author Who Inspired Mean Girls Threatens Legal Action Over Lack of Compensation

Writer Rosalind Wiseman said her lawyers are preparing to take action against Paramount Pictures over what she claims is a lack of compensation: "The hypocrisy is too much."

By Mike Vulpo Mar 23, 2023 5:55 PMTags
Watch: Author Who Inspired Mean Girls Threatens Legal Action

Rosalind Wiseman isn't a regular writer, she's a cool writer.

And after her book Queen Bees and Wannabes was adapted into the 2004 movie Mean Girls, the 54-year-old says she is considering legal action against Paramount Pictures over what she claims is a lack of compensation.

"We have reached out to Paramount to have things be more equitable," she told the New York Post in an interview published March 17. "For so long, I was so quiet about it, but I just feel like the hypocrisy is too much."

Rosalind said she made just over $400,000 in 2002 after signing a deal to sell her film rights. But after Tina Fey's movie inspired a Broadway musical, which is now being turned into a separate movie, Rosalind says she wants to be supported.

"I think it's fair for me to be able to get compensated in some way for the work that has changed our culture and changed the zeitgeist," she said. "Over the years, Tina's spoken so eloquently about women supporting other women, but it's gotten increasingly clear to me that, in my own personal experience, that's not going to be the experience."

What We Know About the Mean Girls Movie Musical

E! News has reached out to Tina and Paramount for comment and has not heard back.

Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Rosalind first met Tina in 2002 after she signed a development deal with Paramount. The first female head writer on Saturday Night Live asked to buy the film rights to Queen Bees after reading Rosalind's New York Times Magazine cover story. 

While Rosalind told the Post she signed away in perpetuity all rights to original motion pictures and derivative works, including musicals and TV projects, in her original contract, she said there was no discussion of any other projects at the time.

"Just because you can doesn't make it right," she said. "Yes, I had a terrible contract, but the movie has made so much money, and they keep recycling my work over and over again."

Michael Gibson/Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock

"We created this thing, Tina took my words, she did an extraordinary job with it," Rosalind continued. "She brought it to life and the material has been used and recycled for the last 20 years. I'm clearly recognized and acknowledged by Tina as the source material, the inspiration. I'm recognized and yet I deserve nothing?"

According to Rosalind, the last time she saw Tina was in April 2018 at the Broadway premiere of Mean Girls

"What's hard is that they used my name in the Playbill," she said. "And Tina, in her interviews, said I was the inspiration and the source, but there was no payment."

E! News has reached out to Rosalind for additional comment and hasn't heard back.

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