Suzanne Somers is an American actress, author, singer, and businesswoman who is popularly known for her role in the TV Series, Three’s Company as Chrissy Snow. Somers was one of the show’s main characters. Unfortunately, she was fired from the show, but what was the reason behind her losing her job?
Suzanne Somers was fired from “Three’s Company” after demanding equal compensation as her male co-star, John Ritter. Ritter was paid five times Somer’s salary.
Why Did Somers Gets Fired?
Three’s Company launched the careers of John Ritter, Suzanne Somers, and Joyce DeWitt. The plot of the series is about a man living with two women to save money on rent. This series was considered groundbreaking in 1970s comedy. The show was an instant success, and it catapulted Somers to stardom.
Somers, who was on the air from 1977 to 1984, demanded a significant salary increase while negotiating her contract for the 6th season of the show. Using Ritter’s pay per episode as a guideline, Somers’ request was not only denied but she was also fired from the show. (Source: Cheat Sheet)
Why Did Somers Want an Equal Pay?
Somers became a household name after Three’s Company became a smash hit. Learning more about the industry with her husband, Alan Hamel, the actress quickly realized the massive disparity between her $30,000 per episode salary and Ritter’s $150,000 per episode salary.
Somers wanted to be on an equal financial footing with other male sitcom stars like Alan Alda of M*A*S*H* and Carroll O’Connor of All in the Family. They were both earning weekly six-figure salaries.
I’m looking around and thinking, ‘Why are all the men… making 10 times more?’ I said to John and Joyce. ’I’m going to ask for big money and a piece of the back end and if you two back me up we’ll all get it, so I’ll be the patsy.’Suzanne Somers, Actress
Somers and her husband lobbied for the massive pay raise but were only offered a $5,000 increase per episode. When she refused the offer, she was fired off the show.
We went in to renegotiate for year six because we had to, my contract was up, and they fired me. They fired me for asking to be paid commensurate with the men. They need you as the example so no other woman in television will get uppity and think that they could ask for parity with men.Suzanne Somers, Actress
(Source: Cheat Sheet )
The Feud Between Suzanne Somers and Three’s Company Co-stars and Crew
Somers’ contract negotiations and eventual firing caused long-term rifts with her Three’s Company co-stars and staff.
According to Entertainment Tonight, Somers expressed her disdain and how sad the entire situation was. She described it as being rejected by your family. The producers painted her as greedy. They said she was attempting to derail the show, and as a result, the entire cast and crew shunned her.
Somers eventually reconciled with both Ritter and DeWitt. She could understand Ritter’s initial rage at her dismissal. (Source: Cheat Sheet)