Tina Fey’s hit comedy “Mean Girls” from 2004, which starred Lindsay Lohan in her breakout role, was all about how high school girls in America always have a clique of “cool girls” who are also mean to everybody else. While the movie was pure fiction, its premise was based on a work of nonfiction written by Rosalind Wiseman called “Queen Bees and Wannabes.” Well, now Wiseman is suing because the author says, she was shut out of receiving a fair share of royalties from the movie, as well as a Broadway musical adapted from the film.
But, some are asking, why she waited until now to file a lawsuit against Tina Fey and Paramount, which made the move.
Well, Rosalind Wiseman explained in an interview with the New York Post, “For so long I was so quiet about it, so, so quiet, but I just feel like the hypocrisy is too much.”
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The author said that she feels it is only fair for her to receive adequate compensation for “the work that has changed our culture and changed the zeitgeist.”
And Rosalind Wiseman had a few choice words for the NY Post about Tina Fey herself.
“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. You don’t just talk about supporting women, you actually do it,” said the author.
Rosalind Wiseman also told the Post that she had many other offers to turn her book into a movie, but accepted the offer from Tina Fey because she felt that Fey and Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels who also produced “Mean Girls” gave her the feeling that they would have a “we’re doing this together kind of experience.”
“We created this thing, Tina [Fey] took my words, she did an extraordinary job with it,” Rosalind Wiseman said, “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?” asked Wiseman sarcastically.
“For me, having a female writer and not having that happen has not only been difficult because of the money, but it’s also been painful, very painful, she added in reference to Tina Fey. “It’s really what my work has been about, especially ‘Mean Girls.’ Women don’t have to be best friends — we can get mad at each other, but when it comes down to it we need to actually support each other. That has been especially hard as a writer to writer.”
“Just because you can doesn’t make it right,” added Rosalind Wiseman saying that she got a terrible contract.”
Rosalind Wiseman is a multiple New York Times bestselling author whose publications include Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World—that was the basis for the movie Mean Girls, and Masterminds & Wingmen: Helping Our Boys Cope with Schoolyard Power, Locker-Room Tests, Girlfriends, and the New Rules of Boy World, which was awarded Best Parenting Book by Books for a Better Life. Her ninth book published in September 2022, with co-author Shanterra McBride is Courageous Discomfort: How to have Brave, Life Changing Conversations about Race and Racism by Chronicle Books.