Monday, April 22, 2024

Kim Cattrall is to Sex and the City What Mary Wilson Is to the Supremes: Speaker of the Truth


Many years ago, the great singer Mary Wilson, founding member of the Supremes, refused to go on an anniversary tour with Diana Ross. The reason? Diana would be paid three times as much Mary. Wilson, choosing integrity, said no. She was either equal to Diana Ross or not going.

Kim Cattrall has played the Mary Wilson role in the story of “Sex and the City.” She was always paid substantially less than Sarah Jessica Parker in her role as Samantha. Presumably, Cattrall was remunerated equally to Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis. The three “SATC” back up singers were paid good money, but Parker was the star.

Cattrall stuck with Samantha for the television series and two movies. But for a third movie she balked. She wanted equal pay, otherwise she was done. Obviously it didn’t happen.

So Parker and writer Michael Patrick King, and HBO, knowing there was still gold to mine from “SATC” apparently went ahead and wrote a new series without Samantha. This couldn’t have been easy. Samantha was the Sex, in the city.

We don’t know the plot of the new 10 episode series. Presumably Charlotte and Miranda’s kids have grown up. Carrie has probably had a kid or two with Mr. Big. Have they time jumped to make all the kids teenagers? Will there be a sexy character to take Samantha’s place? We’ll have to wait and see.

On Instagram, SJP– whom I’ve known for years and like very much– disputed a fan’s claim that she and Cattrall don’t get along. “I don’t dislike her. I’ve never said that. Never would. Samantha isn’t part of the story. But she will always be part of us. No matter where we are what we do.X heart.”

That’s a very nicely worded statement. Cattrall will always be part of SATC because, look, she’s in the reruns, she’s in the movies, and she’s paid residuals. Samantha isn’t part of the story because she was written out. Soap operas do that all the time. It’s not new. Robert Duvall wouldn’t do “The Godfather III” because he wasn’t offered Al Pacino money. George Hamilton played a substitute.

As for Mary Wilson, she’s respected and loved, and has had a wonderful career without Diana Ross. She’s held her head high. Same for Kim Cattrall, who just starred in the series “Filthy Rich” and is always generating new shows. She doesn’t need “SATC.” They need her. I have a feeling the new series will be quite bland without her.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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