Patricia Richardson sparks criticism after she claims 'Home Improvement' ended because ABC refused to pay her as much as co-star Tim Allen

Patricia Richardson sparks criticism after she claims 'Home Improvement' ended because ABC refused to pay her as much as co-star Tim Allen
Patricia Richardson and Tim Allen played Jill and Tim Taylor in 'Home Improvement' (Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Patricia Richardson recently opened up about how pay inequality contributed to the end of the ABC sitcom 'Home Improvement'.

The 73-year-old actress, who played the matriarch Jill Taylor on the show, disclosed that she issued an ultimatum to the network when her co-star, Tim Allen, was offered $1 million more than her to continue the series.

Patricia Richardson claims she was denied a producer credit in 'Home Improvement'

Richardson asserted, "When I took the job, they said it wasn't meant to be the Tim Allen show, it was meant to be our show," noting a stark disparity in treatment regarding compensation, as per The Hollywood Reporter. 

During the show's third season, the actress successfully renegotiated her contract to secure specific terms, including a guarantee of four episodes per season focused on her character, Jill Taylor, and a profit-sharing agreement entitling her to a percentage of the series' earnings.

"I knew that residuals just get less and less, and I felt that I am going to end up being a huge part of whatever this show is. It’s going to work because of me almost as much as because of Tim," said Richardson.

Despite her involvement in shaping her character and guiding the predominantly male writers' room in portraying the matriarch of the Taylor family, she was denied a producer credit.

She contends that this decision was purportedly driven by concerns that it would establish a precedent for other actors. Meanwhile, Allen was credited as an executive consultant in the first season and later ascended to the role of executive producer during the sixth season.

Patricia Richardson thwarts 'Home Improvement' reboot plan (Araya Doheny/Getty Images and ABC)
Patricia Richardson claims she issued an ultimatum to ABC regarding her pay disparity with 'Home Improvement' co-star Tim Allen (Araya Doheny/Getty Images, ABC)

Carmen Finestra, co-creator and executive producer of 'Home Improvement', refuted Richardson's claim, suggesting that the decision to withhold a producer credit from her was likely made by Disney.

As the show entered its eighth season, the actress apparently expressed her desire to depart from it, citing her wish to dedicate more time to her children following her divorce from Ray Baker. According to her, both she and Allen were in agreement that the series should conclude after its extensive run.

Richardson revealed that she was offered $1 million per episode, whereas Allen was offered $2 million. Owing to the pay discrepancy, the actress proposed to ABC that she be compensated equally to Allen and bestowed with an executive producer title, or she would have no choice but to leave the show.

"I knew that Disney would in no way pay me that much. That was my way to say ‘no’ and was a little bit of a flip-off to Disney. I’d been there all this time, and they never even paid me a third of what Tim was making, and I was working my a** off. I was a big reason why women were watching," claimed Richardson. 

As she had anticipated, her proposal was indeed rejected, ultimately leading to the conclusion of the series.

Patricia Richardson says Hollywood hates 'Home Improvement'

Talking about the tension between her and Allen, Richardson said, "I was mad at Tim because he was leaving me alone being the only person saying no, which made me feel terrible and like the bad guy and he was upset with me for leaving."

In 2015, the former co-stars reunited for 'Last Man Standing'; however, Richardson affirmed that they haven't been in contact since then.

The actress also argued that despite the resurgence of many beloved '90s TV shows through streaming platforms, 'Home Improvement', which ran from 1991 to 1999, has not received the same attention, despite its popularity.

"Hollywood hates our show. When they talk about what the best shows of the '90s were, they will not give 'Home Improvement' credit," claimed Richardson.

She suggested Allen's outspoken conservatism may have alienated some former fans of the show, saying, "I think it’s about Tim, and it’s about his politics." Richardson added that she doesn't personally agree with Allen's political stance.

Nonetheless, the actress declared, "I’m really proud of what it meant to our audience. I don’t care what anybody says, I’m proud of the legacy."

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 02:  Tim Allen attends FOX Summer TCA 2018 All-Star Party at Soho House
Patricia Richardson believes Tim Allen's political stance may have affected former fans’ connection to 'Home Improvement' (Getty Images)

Fans disagree with Patricia Richardson's stance regarding her pay disparity with 'Home Improvement' co-star Tim Allen

A Facebook user wrote, "While women should get equal pay she was the co star not the star . In other fields of work do they all get paid the same no there are levels . 1 million in 90s is really good ! She should have took it if she wanted to stay on."

One person pointed out, "It was based on Allen’s routine and character," and another noted, "She was just a supporting actor Tim was the main actor the main actor where their male or female always gets paid the most."

"I feel so bad for her $1 million per episode for the screen time she actually had?? Gosh I don’t know it must be so hard for that! A million dollars an episode is enough money for a lifetime. Foolishness!!! That’s all about greed! It completely changes my outlook for her," expressed one more.

An individual claimed, "And hey look what happened. She never did anything bigger than home improvement while he became a movie star. That’s what happens when you let your ego get the best of you instead of just being grateful for what you have," while another person stated, "She was only in 1 scene every show lol."

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