For the past seven years, Lauren Cohan has been fighting for her life on The Walking Dead. She’s lost everyone she loves, including her father, sister, and her husband to the walkers or to the humans who might actually be scarier than anything else on the AMC series. Turns out, though, her hardest battle might be happening offscreen as Cohan fights to get paid by The Walking Dead.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cohan is reportedly asking AMC for a salary increase in season 9, which will be her eighth on the show. While Deadline reported last month that Cohan was fighting for gender parity, THR now reports that she isn’t asking to be paid the same as her co-stars Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) and Norman Reedus (Daryl), who are “paid significantly more” than their female co-stars. Cohan, who joined the cast in season 2 and became a series regular the following year, has been “locked in a months-long contract renegotiation with AMC.” Currently, Cohan isn’t contractually obligated to return for another season. So if AMC doesn’t meet her demands, this season might be the last for Maggie.
A sign that Cohan might be saying goodbye to Rick and the gang? She signed on as the lead of the new ABC series Whiskey Cavalier with Scandal’s Scott Foley, in which she plays a CIA operative. THR reports, though, that ABC and the Whiskey producers were open to letting Cohen “return in a limited capacity to potentially close out Maggie's storyline.” This means if Whiskey Cavalier does get picked up, Cohan could potentially stay on The Walking Dead for a little while longer. Of course, AMC will have to negotiate with her to make that happen.
The current season premiered last month and is already done shooting. If Cohan does leave, fans are wondering whether Maggie will get an adequate send-off. It was a question former showrunner Scott Gimple, who’s been promoted to oversee all things Walking Dead at AMC, didn’t seem comfortable answering. “I wouldn't want to say that because we're talking and figuring it out," he told THR about Cohan’s possible send-off. He preferred to see this situation as an optimistic one. “We're talking,” Gimple said. “We're figuring it out.”
At least one of Cohan’s castmates would like them to figure it out sooner rather than later. Khary Payton, who plays King Ezekial, came to her defense this weekend, posting a photo of Maggie in what looks like a jail cell on Instagram. The caption was simply: “Pay the woman.” We couldn’t agree more.
Refinery29 reached out to Cohan’s representatives for comment, but they did not respond at press time.
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