Leslie Jones claims she was paid ‘way less’ than Ghostbusters co-stars: ‘I had to fight for more’

Leslie Jones said she was paid “way less” than her Ghostbusters co-stars, Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig.

Jones co-led the 2016 reboot of the classic 1980s films alongside McCarthy, Wiig and Kate McKinnon. The four portrayed paranormal researchers who try to prove the existence of ghosts.

In an excerpt from her new memoir, Leslie F***ing Jones, the 56-year-old comedian opened up about her experience working on the comedy fantasy.

“It was made clear to me at times during the process that I was lucky to even be on that movie, but honestly, I was thinking, ‘I don’t have to be in this muthaf***a,’ especially as I got paid way less than Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig,” Jones wrote, according to Rolling Stone.

“No knock on them, but my first offer was to do that movie for $67,000 [£54,000]. I had to fight to get more (in the end I got $150k).”

McCarthy, 53, went on to earn $14m (£11.3m) from the film, which had a budget of $150m (£121.1m), according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“But the message was clear: ‘This is gonna blow you up – after this, you’re made for life,’ all that kind of s***, as though I hadn’t had decades of a successful career already,” the Saturday Night Live alum added.

The Independent has contacted the film’s production studio, Sony Pictures, for comment.

Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy (Getty Images)
Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy (Getty Images)

Before her starring role in Ghostbusters, Jones was a regular cast member on SNL from 2014 to 2019, where she often delivered the “Weekend Update” segment.

Elsewhere in her memoir, Jones reflected on director Jason Reitman’s “unforgivable” Ghostbusters comment.

Reitman, whose father Ivan directed the original two 1980s Ghostbusters films, picked up the reins for Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021), which followed Paul Feig’s 2016 all-female version.

After announcing his plans to make Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Reitman said he was “trying to go back to the original technique and hand the movie back to the fans”.

Reitman ultimately said his remark “came out wrong” and that he has “nothing but admiration for Paul and Leslie and Kate and Melissa and Kristen and the bravery with which they made Ghostbusters 2016”.

But Jones said his words were “unforgivable”, writing: “The damage was done. Bringing up the idea of giving the movie ‘back to the fans’ was a pretty clear shout-out to all those losers who went after us for making an all-female film.”

Leslie F***ing Jones is out now.