Vanna White, co-host of “Wheel of Fortune,” has reportedly hired a powerful attorney.
News of White’s decision to lawyer up came days before Sony Pictures announced that Ryan Seacrest would assume position as host of the popular game show upon Pat Sajak’s retirement.
According to Puck News, White hired attorney Bryan Freedman, whose high-profile client list includes Tucker Carlson, Megyn Kelly, Gabrielle Union, Chris Harrison, and other TV personalities.
His specialty is resolving conflicts between talents and the networks that employ(ed) them, and he will reportedly help White negotiate her new contract and a better salary amid allegations of pay discrimination.
Puck News reported:
I’m told Freedman is hitting the pay discrepancy issue hard with Sony, as well as possible gender discrimination with respect to White’s salary.
According to three sources, White hasn’t had a raise in 18 years. Yes, 18 years. She got some bonuses along the way, but never a straight pay increase.
I know she’s hardly a ditch digger or school bus driver, but given her longevity and profile, and the increased value of the Wheel asset to Sony, that seems nuts to me.
Not only has White not received a salary increase in 18 years, but she earns $3 million per year compared to Sajak’s reported salary of $15 million per year. It’s not yet known what Seacrest will earn.
Moreover, sources told Puck News that some executives at Sony Pictures have even floated eliminating White’s role despite her presence being synonymous with the show itself.
But that may never come to fruition, as Seacrest indicated on Tuesday that he expects to work with White.
“I’m truly humbled to be stepping into the footsteps of the legendary Pat Sajak,” Seacrest said in a statement.
“I can say, along with the rest of America, that it’s been a privilege and pure joy to watch Pat and Vanna on our television screens for an unprecedented 40 years, making us smile every night and feel right at home with them.”
“I can’t wait to continue the tradition of spinning the wheel and working alongside the great Vanna White,” he added.
Sony Pictures declined to comment on the situation with White and her contract.