The Most Interesting Thing About Me

My 2005 head shot, which was clearly very serious business.

I know I said yesterday that I wasn’t going to publish the post I wrote over on Medium here because I figured many of you have already heard bits and pieces of my “I was fired from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” story, but last night I was laying in my bed, half-reading about the Taylor Swift and Katy Perry drama but mostly thinking about why I’d published an original piece on a site other than my own – which is not something that I typically do; I like to save the best stuff for you guys – and you know what I realized? The real reason I didn’t originally want to publish this post here was because the people who read here every day know me. Really, really well. And sometimes it’s easier to release the stories that make me feel the most vulnerable into a world populated by strangers rather than writing them on the walls of my home. 

It is humiliating, that some (many?) people think that the most interesting thing about me is the fact that I was once almost on a TV show, and then wasn’t. It is embarrassing, explaining to people why the fact that I don’t act anymore is a positive thing for me, why I truly, truly wouldn’t have it any other way, and watching their foreheads wrinkle in pity anyway. If you are a person who was once an actor – or a musician, or an artist, or a writer, or anything “creative” – in some ways you will always be an ex-actor/musician/writer; that will always be the way you are introduced at a party (the subtext, of course, being that of course you wish you were something other than what you are right now). And so for years, I tried to bend and twist my past into a story that wouldn’t make people whisper behind my back once I’d walked away: god, could you even imagine how much that sucks for her?! 

Nobody wants to be the person it sucks to be. 

But you know what I’ve learned lately, mostly because of this website right here? If you just keep talking and talking about those moments that you’re frightened or embarrassed or ashamed to revisit, one day they start losing their power, and become what they always were: just one more thing that happened in this beautiful, special life that’s all your own.

The real story behind It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

That Time I Got Fired From It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia

It’s a tricky thing, writing about an incident that so clearly paints me as the sad sack, the bitter ex-actress who coulda been a star! …and then wasn’t, and was instead relegated to a footnote in the storied history of a television show.

Six years ago, around the time that I first started my website, Ramshackle Glam, I wrote about my experience of co-creating — and then subsequently being fired from — It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It’s a story I’ve already told, but today I’m going to tell it again, for two reasons.

The first is because my original post was not especially well-written, and I want to give it a second shot because I’m persnickety like that. The second, more salient reason is that the first time I wrote about this I made it all about me, and that was a mistake, I think. Because it’s about something bigger, a truth that’s been said ad infinitum but bears repeating over and over until it becomes fiction: when it comes to career opportunities, gender matters. I have a daughter of my own now, and I want to make sure I get this story right because I want her to know that she should never, ever be silenced by people who make her feel like she’s too small to be heard. Her voice matters. She matters. And so do I, even though I didn’t always know it.

So here’s a little piece of my story — including the parts I left out before, and the parts I’ve only figured out in the years since I first told it.

The real story behind It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Sweet Dee

When I graduated from college, I moved out to Los Angeles, where I knew virtually no one except for my ex-boyfriend, Rob. We began dating again, and our relationship quickly grew serious enough that we started planning to move in together, and eventually get married. A couple of months after I arrived in LA, Rob conceived of the idea for a Curb Your Enthusiasm-style show that centered on a group of four actor friends living in Hollywood, and over the next year or so Rob, myself, and our friends Glenn Howerton and Charlie Day shot two pilot episodes for the show, which at the time was called It’s Always Sunny on TV. Other friends filled in the remainder of the roles — David Hornsby, Jimmi Simpson, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, who later married Charlie — but mostly it was just the four of us: Rob, Glenn, Charlie, and me. My character was named “Sweet Dee” as a nod to her optimistic personality, which was originally intended to contrast sharply with the guys’ misanthropy.

It was a lot of work for virtually no pay, but we were unemployed actors with not a whole lot to do in between Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf runs and the occasional audition, and our ennui and general idleness became a key element of the show. When only one or two of us were on camera, the others held boom mics or ran to Rite Aid for more camcorder tapes. We improv-ed out most scenes before Rob wrote them, and I remember how exciting it was: not just reading lines from a script that had been handed to me, but actually watching these people emerge.

We shot a lot at my West Hollywood apartment because it was “nicer” (read: cleaner) than any of the guys’ places. One day Glenn and I were shooting a scene where the two of us were sitting on the couch drinking wine and talking about our friend who had just been diagnosed with cancer. Of course we were drinking real wine (because why wouldn’t we), and we were going off-script and Glenn was killing it, and I remember just having so much damn fun. We were all broke; we were all stressed about where our respective lives and careers were going, but still : I think we all felt like what we were doing was big. I’m not just speaking from the perspective of where the show ended up going; even back then we could feel its potential like a living thing.

When we finished shooting the two initial episodes, Rob began shopping them around to networks, and a miracle happened: FX offered to shoot a “real” pilot for the show. And they were going to PAY US. What?!

All of a sudden we were on an actual set, with for-real makeup artists and trailers and someone else to hold the boom. Everyone at the network seemed excited, but we still had trouble believing that all of this would actually pan out. We all knew what it was like to get cast in a part only to end up on the cutting room floor, or have the project never see the light of day at all. We knew what it was like to think everything was about to change when really the only thing that was going to happen was that we were about to be drop-kicked back to square one, and we were all sick and tired of that happening.

The original story behind It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia pilot Sweet Dee

At one point, one of the guys (I’m pretty sure it was Glenn, but I could be wrong) called a meeting in Rob’s trailer — no secondary cast members, no execs…just the four of us. The question on the table: “What if the network wants to pick up some of us, but not all of us?” I specifically remember someone — again, I think it was Glenn — saying that I had nothing to worry about, because I was “the pretty girl” (not to mention the only girl) and that Rob was clearly fine because he was the showrunner, but that he was scared that he and Charlie might be replaceable.

And so this is what we did, sitting there in Rob’s trailer with paper plates of scrambled eggs from craft services balanced on our laps: we agreed, together, that the network would have to take all four of us…or none of us. We had been in this thing together for over a year now, and we simply wouldn’t allow them to split us up. We shook hands, and headed back to set.

Around that time, my relationship with Rob began to unravel — and I started to sense that I was on unsteady footing, despite our “all for one” pact. One day I walked into the office that FX had set up for the show, and was surprised to find three desks: one for Rob, one for Glenn, and one for Charlie. They’d all been made executive producers.

Very quickly — almost overnight — I went from being at the center of the project to standing on the periphery. I blamed my age; I blamed my inexperience; I blamed what I saw as my lack of talent…but the fact is — even though at the time I lacked the words or the conviction to say it — that to the people in charge, I was nothing more than another blonde actress. FX was a cigar-smoking, whiskey-drinking old boys’ club, and I was welcome when I was the girlfriend of the creator — but once I wasn’t, my role in creating their new pet project was forgotten.

I said nothing, not even to Rob. I was terrified of losing my job, and it seemed to me that the best course of action was to sit down, shut up, and be grateful for what I had. I didn’t want to ask why I hadn’t been made a producer — why, in fact, I hadn’t even been included in the conversation — because the answer was obvious: Rob, Glenn and Charlie (and the agents, managers, and execs that they had started going out for boys’ nights with) were The Guys — the masters of this little universe that they’d created — and me? I was just a girl — and a replaceable one, at that.

The pilot wrapped, and shortly afterwards I ended my relationship with Rob. During one of our break-up conversations, he told me in no uncertain terms that if I did not stay in the relationship, I would be off the show. I broke up with him anyway, and moved into the house that we had been planning to share all by myself.

I can’t tell you how many people have asked me why I didn’t just stay in the relationship until the show was picked up and my contract was set in stone. The answer is that sleeping in a bed every night alongside a person I was not sure that I wanted to be sleeping with because there was money on the table felt like the worst kind of betrayal; a betrayal both of myself and of my relationship with a man who I loved still, despite the fact that we didn’t seem able to coexist under the same roof. Basically, I just felt like staying with someone under those kinds of pretenses was a shit thing to do.

And besides, I honestly thought he was bluffing. I couldn’t even imagine how a person who’d helped to create a show could end up tossed off of it; it didn’t even seem like it could possibly be legal. I remembered that promise we’d made, and I knew Rob, Glenn and Charlie did, too. I trusted them, and I trusted that — despite the obvious tension — everyone would ultimately do what was right, because at 23 years old I still thought that was how things worked.

A couple of months later, my agent and manager set up a conference call during which they let me know that while Rob, Glenn and Charlie had been picked up for the series, I hadn’t been. I got a small payout (the equivalent of one episode’s salary), my agent and manager fired me, Rob married the actress who he hired to replace me (Kaitlin Olson, who is lovely and talented and funnier than I could ever possibly be, and whose work I in no way intend to disparage by the writing of this piece), and I never heard from Glenn or Charlie again — not since the day my relationship came to an end.

Oh god, was I ever angry. For such a long time. In a panic, I did things I’m not proud of — trying to use my cell phone to record damning conversations (which is a crap thing to do a person regardless of how you feel about them, in addition to being completely illegal); trying to make my next relationship into a Grand Love Affair when it very obviously wasn’t; trying to starve myself into thin air because maybe if I couldn’t feel anything I couldn’t feel the pain of what I’d lost, which felt like everything.

I considered suing, of course. I made an appointment at a firm specializing in entertainment law, and I sat there in an enormous maple conference room in my best Banana Republic skirt suit listening to an attorney tell me that if I took on the case, I would be going to court against not only a person whom I still cared for — but also Three Arts Entertainment, FX, and the Fox Network. The case, he told me, would be long and expensive, and no sane casting director would touch me while I was embroiled in it. It was further likely, he told me, that the lawsuit would mean the end of my career as an actress. I would always be known as “that girl who sued FX.”

I thanked him for his time, and on my way out I stopped into the lobby bathroom to change into a pair of jeans for my next audition.

This account is, I think, more cogently written than my original version, but that’s kinda besides the point; the more important answer to why I’m writing about this again now is that years have passed — years in which my life and self have changed in ways I never, ever saw coming, and certainly couldn’t have imagined as a young ex-actress struggling to figure out what in the world she was supposed to do — and I think this story matters for reasons I didn’t see back then.

My friends did wrong by me; I think that’s obvious…but I get why they did what they did, and the wrong that was done was bigger than three men breaking a promise. I don’t blame them for taking advantage of their first big opportunity in a very tough industry. I do, however, blame the social values that created a situation in which a young woman was encouraged by nearly everyone she knew to trade sex and love for money “just for a little while” — because she had no other real recourse, no other way to ensure that she’d be compensated fairly for her work.

This isn’t a fun story to tell (although I do think it’s an interesting one, and a meaningful one). It’s a story that makes people — myself included — look not especially honorable, but even beyond that: it’s a tricky thing, writing about an incident that so clearly paints me as the sad sack, the bitter ex-actress who coulda been a star! …and then wasn’t, and was instead relegated to a footnote in the storied history of a television show. I’m that guy who was almost on Friends instead of Matt LeBlanc. I’m the fifth Beatle.

So how do I tell a story like this and not sound pathetic? How do I say the words “I feel good about the decision that I made” and have anyone in the world believe me, when the other choice would have meant becoming a massively wealthy star of a mega-successful show? I don’t know if it’s possible to convince most people on this point; there’s a hell of a lot of cultural baggage having to do with the value we place on fame and money involved here.

But I also don’t think I care anymore whether I “seem” like a sad failed actress. I’m not an actress. I’m not sad. And I’m also not a failure. The one thing I always wanted more than anything else (and certainly wanted more than I wanted to be an actress) ended up happening: I wrote a book, and it was published. And then I wrote another, and it was published, too. Another is coming out in the spring. I’m living in the place in the world that I want to live in with the people I want to live with, and while I suppose it’d be nice to have a bunch more money, I’m good — great, even — with what I’ve got.

I’m happy.

I’m not angry anymore; not for myself. I am, however, still super pissed on behalf of the 23-year-old girl who felt so unsure of her own footing in this world that she felt it best to just step aside and not rock any boats. She watched her own story get written over by people with more money and more power than she could ever dream of having, because she thought that if she said anything she’d be called a liar or crucified for her words…and the worst part is that I’m fairly certain that she was right.

Man, do I wish the person I am now could go back in time and talk to the girl I was. I’d tell her to be brave, to say what she deserved, and to demand it if it wasn’t given. I’d tell her that no man — and certainly no television network — is allowed to harm her career because she has decided to stop sleeping with someone. I’d tell her that things were going to look a lot different a few years down the road, and that she needed to keep on talking, over and over, until her voice was heard.

I’d tell her to make some noise.

I can’t tell her those things; the girl I was is many years gone. But I can speak for her now, and say the things that she was too scared to give voice to. I can say in no uncertain terms that I was done a disservice. I can say that even though I felt like I deserved to be pushed aside, I did not. I can make sure that I know, way down deep, that even though I might not have always believed it, I matter — and the reasons why have nothing to do with whether or not I once got to be on a goddamn television show.

  • Sweet B

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaawn. Oh I’m sorry, last time you told us you got dropped for being “too pretty”. Maybe you should start writing fiction.

    • jordanreid

      yeah, this was the kind of comment i knew i’d get, and why i didn’t want to put the post here at all.
      but in response, yes, that is the reason i was given for why i was being fired. the reason i decided to leave this detail out was because it always bothered me that i mentioned it in the first place: it’s so obviously untrue – obviously i’m not “too pretty” to play a bartender – and just diverts the conversation onto questions about my beauty or lack thereof. the reason they gave me was false, repeating it doesn’t change the fact that i was fired, and me harping on this detail sounds both like a weird ego grab as well as an underhanded jab at the (very beautiful and talented) actress who replaced me. it’s just not a game i want to play.

      • Jack Schoenmakers

        “obviously i’m not “too pretty” to play a bartender” You are oversimplifying the issue. It is not a matter of whether you are ‘too pretty to play a bartender’; it is a matter of whether you were too pretty relative to the other actors involved in this show. In this case, all the other actors are fairly unattractive. The Waitress, Mac, Charlie (now DeVito) etc, all average to ugly looking. Olsen does a fantastic job, but it doesn’t change the obvious that she is less beautiful than you.
        In 2016/18, you should not be concerned about the acting gig, you should realize that, with the credit you are due as co-developer (or creator, if that was in fact the case) you will be an instant multi-millionaire and they will be forced to retrospectively credit you – on every single episode – as one of the original developers.
        Your only claim/issue today should be that they wrote you out of the real history of the show. Please tell us more about the early days and the creation of the show, prior to the FX pilot. Clearly we are not going to hear the real version from FX or the other 3 creators 🙂

    • KB

      Come on! JR clearly states that this about helping daughter (and any young woman for that matter) demand what would be equal rights/shares/ respect for work done. JR, as women everywhere should acknowledge, has related that it’s still critical to teach our girls to step up, stand up for themselves and make their voice heard regardless of gender. Good for you, Jordan. I hope you do tell Goldie to hold her ground, what a way to learn this lesson.

      • TSR

        I don’t know. I’m torn on this one. It seems like a bit of a passive aggressive jab at your ex to me. The confusing part is if he really demanded sex and silent complicity to stay on the show why, even now, you would be so gentle in your mentioning of it.
        I understand the culture thing of keeping quiet, etc (which is bullshit) but if this really is for your daughter and other young people (not just women get taken advantage of) I think now more that ever you should be at your loudest calling him out for this type of extortion!
        With that being said, by you not doing that, it leaves room for a more reasonable and less dramatic interpretation of what occurred and that being more along the lines of a conversation such as, “how could we possibly continue to work together if we aren’t together as a couple anymore? I just don’t see it working”. That seems like something I may say. (But I also would have made sure you got the credit and money you deserved if you were indeed an integral part of creating the show)
        I don’t know. And of course, no one will ever know the full truth except you and Rob.
        I’m sorry you had to go through any of that if it is indeed how you have recounted it. If it’s not, maybe the next chapter is seeing how Rob may have said or done what he did and forgiving him and freeing yourself. That is of course assuming that my “reasonable” version of the story is closer to the truth.
        If it’s not, then I say fry that bastard and quit pulling your punches!
        Best of luck. Thanks for sharing your story.

        • Jack Schoenmakers

          “if he really demanded sex and silent complicity to stay on the show” That is a ridiculous, straw man position. Jordan did not write that at all, you inferred the ‘demands’ and ‘silent complicity’ on your own. The reason your were so easily able to interpret the true sentiment as “how could we possibly continue to work together if we aren’t together as a couple anymore?” is because that, more or less, is what Jordan wrote in the first place 😛 You are arguing over semantics: She got cut out when she dumped Rob. He wanted to keep her, he used the acting gig as leverage, but she didn’t want him. Same difference. Like you said, Rob should definitely have given Jordan credit for her developmental contributions, regardless of how heartbroken he might have been. As that didn’t happen, Jordan should assert her right to credit in court.

  • Tess

    I’m not actually commenting about the article (read it yesterday and totally get it) but more about the site redesign and something that has annoyed me. I typically read on my phone and the “previews” for the articles are typically so long you have to scroll, hit the button, scroll again to find where you were… Not a big deal but it would be a simple fix with shorter previews or a tag that jumps to after the preview in the real page.

    • jordanreid

      That’s excellent feedback; thank you. I’ve been playing around with how to excerpt posts, and have tried three different things: Either the first paragraph of the post, the first three paragraphs of the post, or a customized excerpt that tells you what the post is about (since that’s not always clear from the first paragraph). I’m basically trying to figure out which is the least annoying system for readers – like the idea of inserting a tag that jumps you to the right spot. I’ll talk to my developers about that.

  • kristin

    This is brilliant and beautiful. I think most grown women have a similar story to tell about finding/losing/being deprived of their place at the table. It’s important to tell it, because some of the “social values” you talk about (that was my favorite part!) still exist. Maybe this hits home especially for me because I’m a woman in my 30’s with a young daughter during a week of history-making women in the spotlight–but it’s important to keep talking about it, even if we sound like whiners or sore losers or whatever. Maybe that is our contribution to the whole damn thing.

    • jordanreid

      thank you, kristin. i think most women do; what’s interesting to me is that i think most of them don’t even recognize this kind of silencing when it happens. i know i didn’t see this as a gender issue until many, many years after it happened; it just seemed like it was because of me, because i wasn’t strong enough/smart enough/talented enough/whatever enough to deserve, like you said, a place at the table. i decided to put this post here exactly because i realized that i had been afraid of, like you say, sounding like a whiner, or a sore loser, and that’s bs, and not an example i want to set for my kids.

      last night i was watching elizabeth warren on stephen colbert (an episode from last week) and she was talking about how one of the most extraordinary things about hillary is that she’s weathered a firestorm of criticism for DECADES, and simply refuses to stop speaking up – for women, for children, etc. most people would have said, “enough, i don’t want to deal with this anymore” a long time ago, but i don’t think we can underscore enough how much impact this has (is going to have?) on our daughters: just the simple fact of seeing a woman standing up in front of a world full of people, many of whom would love nothing more than to see her step down, and demanding to be heard nevertheless. it’s such an exciting thing to watch, and i can’t help but think (or maybe hope) that it’s going to result in some massive changes on a social level.

      • Laura

        YES!!!!! I think you’re so right that most of us don’t even recognize the silencing as a gender issue until later. I’m 34 and and only in the last YEAR (!!!) have I started to notice these things more & really make it a point to stand up for myself. I’m still learning. I think it’s also a product of being raised to think that girls can do anything that boys can, only to find out that the playing field isn’t equal at all. Instead of looking at the unevenness as the reason why something happens, we look to ourselves. That can be so hard to unlearn.
        You don’t sound like a whiner at all. You sound like someone who has reflected & put her experience into a broader context. It’s really helpful to read — for young girls, but also older women & men, too. Thanks for writing this & being brave enough to put it out there. I admire you!

        • Jordan

          We are “raised to think that girls can do anything that boys can, only to find out that the playing field isn’t equal at all. Instead of looking at the unevenness as the reason why something happens, we look to ourselves.” Laura, this is it, exactly. I’m going to remember these words. Thank you.

          • Cate

            We are “raised to think that girls can do anything that boys can, only to find out that the playing field isn’t equal at all. Instead of looking at the unevenness as the reason why something happens, we look to ourselves” made me cry. What a perfect way of putting it. Thank you Laura.

  • SageofShaw

    Thank you for writing this. It was gut-wrenching and powerful.

  • Sarah

    I really enjoyed reading this! One thing that hits home for me is this idea that if you do refuse to be silenced, you become known as: the bitch, the troublemaker, the loudmouth, the instigator, the shrew, ugly, stupid, premenstrual, bipolar, etc, etc. You get punished if you refuse to be silent too. There have been many, many times in my life when I wished I would just learn to keep my damn mouth shut, just to avoid the criticism, and that’s on a micro level compared to what you are talking about.

    I’ve actually noticed this on Facebook: some of my older male friends (relatives, co-workers, friends, etc) will admonish me to “stay positive” when I post something political and most likely opinionated. Comments like “why do you focus on the negative?” or “it’s not attractive to be hateful” are really infuriating. And I don’t see men getting those comments either.

  • cleverpun

    That must have been awful for you. I just read the wiki on IASIP and your name isn’t mentioned at all. That sucks.

  • This is a good story to tell because most young women including myself have experienced something similar where someone takes advantage of your youth, inexperience, talent and tries to either claim credit or walk all over you. For whatever reason, women especially young women have a harder time asserting their worth.

    The second part is that the reason you keep telling this story is because it still bothers and you need to own that. It’s okay. If something was virtually ripped from me, it would bother me too. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t happy now and that things didn’t work out for the best but you weren’t really given a choice. If you had decided on your own to walk away, then it would be different. It also doesn’t mean that after all this time that you need to be okay with the way you were treated or the way that you ex handled this situation. Frankly, it’s okay to still be pissed about it.

    Three, you are lucky. Because your ex sounds like a jerk. It was worth whatever money you lost to get away from him.

  • Patricio

    I just want to say thank you for posting this. I am going through a similar situation right now, and this is exactly what I needed to read. Your clarity gave me some perspective. Keep up the good work, and if it means anything, you inspired me.

  • Steven Sumner

    Reading this post, I think it is now clear that you are not bitter, but you still have hard feelings about what happened. I don’t blame you. If you feel like sexism played a role in your removal from the show, you might be right. Just consider that they immediately cast another attractive blonde woman in your place. Now this could be taken as simply finding the “pretty blonde” easily replaceable or it could be seen as they wanted a female character, but Rob and/or the other guys did not think it would be possible to work with you due to the relationship issues. Either way, thank you for sharing your story but as fans of the show, seeing Charlie, Dennis and Mac screw over someone is easily believable and fits. 🙂

  • candide

    you were dating the showrunner. whatd u think would happen? hed keep u on board and completely ruin the chemistry of the group? situation sucks but thats reality. When relationships end, you part ways. you dont continue to hang out w ur ex’s friends either unless youre seeking vengeance. men get shit on plenty too. im living proof. Also…roles reversed with 2 of your close girlfriends, i imagine you’d have done the same. however, i am sorry this happened and happy everything worked out for you. my intentions were not to try and justify their actions but to provide some perspective. final thought…as biggie said…mo money mo problems. not sure it qualifies as a silver lining but maybe a tin lining.

    • Flat Spotting

      Finally a sane comment.

    • Green Man

      Well said, If the shoe was on the other foot, she would have let them go like a bad habit

  • Flat Spotting

    You got cut out because the show was NEVER going to work after you left Rob. Yes it sucks, but it was necessary for the show to succeed in any way, everyone can see that plain and simple. There will be no natural chemistry, or hilarious off-the-cuff moments when you have an ex in the room in an incredibly awkward situation. The only option for Rob/Glenn/Charlie/FX was to cut you loose. This blog does make you sound like a ‘sad sack’ because you make it sound like they owed you something, or you deserved to be on the show – it’s great you helped create it, and it sucks they promised something, but circumstances changed and it should be very clear there is no other way this could have went. Get over it.

    • Jack Schoenmakers

      You are confusing 2 separate issues – of course they owe her something. Jordan was due to be lead actress, but she was already co-creator / developer. The other 3 went on to become internationally successful multi-millionaires, crediting only themselves as the creators and developers of the show. If Jordan indeed was the fourth wheel, they owed her credit – both moral and financial – for her contribution. Jordan should sue the production company and assert her claim.

      • ladiva525

        For what though? Rob came up with the concept and a good portion of the show is improv. The fact that the show was able to go on and become so successful without kinda shows how important she was to it’s development/creation.

  • lm

    you were too pretty to be Dee ;'(

  • Melissa Sedwick

    I do not understand why in the world you are writing this. First reason, you’re persnickety so you should trudge up and old story and rewrite it. Oh and change the reason to why you “got fired”. Check! Second reason, when it comes to career opportunities gender matters. Except they hired another blonde actress soooo. Check? No wait that doesn’t fit. FX said no. You walked in and there were three desk that FX had set up. Your relationship with Rob was already on the rocks. You know how it feels to be on the cutting room floor. You made each other a promise and YOU expect them to give up their dream for that promise? You are selfish. You “went from being the center of the project to standing on the periphery,” are you throwing a tantrum because you are the center of the universe? FX turned around and got another blonde actress to play your role so you cannot cry Feminism. Gender equality isn’t real! And Rob said that huh? We should take your words as truth, solid gold. Well one day an ex-boyfriend of mine told me that I was his everything, that we would grow old together, guess what? That didn’t happen! You were 23 years old and I am certain every promise you ever made at that time and since has been kept. You spent a year making two pilots. Well they have spent many more years making people laugh, working, living their dreams that you feel cheated out of. I’ve been on interviews, called back for seconds and thirds even, then BOOM! Guess what, I didn’t get the job. I wasn’t the best fit! This doesn’t mean I wasn’t qualified and it doesn’t mean I need to scream equal rights! This is ridiculous. Move on.

    • Guy Slack

      I know this shit is played out… but, you must be a BLAST at parties. Wow.

  • I found your site via the re-post of your stolen website on CNBC. I enjoyed your perspective since I am NOT an actor but am married to an actor who fought the Hollywood battle for 12 years. She accumulated many credits with speaking roles on several popular TV shows such as Suddenly Susan, X-Files, Coach and so on. From time to time she will mention regret for not “sticking with it” unsure of what could have been. Her decision to leave the business was predicated on the untimely passing of her mother and 32 W2s for one tax year. Today we enjoy a nice dinner out each year from her residuals. As they dwindle we will enjoy a happy hour evening. Thank you again for sharing as it gives me some perspective on how she feels.

  • Punkin4Life

    How are you gonna not ask them why you weren’t made a producer, then complain. You had plenty of chances to ask you CHOSE to be silent. Kaitlin Olson redefined sweet dee and if it weren’t for her strong female character and her risk to decline unless it was rewritten in a funnier way helped make the show. Life is what you make it. Yes we as women are very often discriminated against and silenced, but there are two kinds of us. The ones that sit back and point at men to hold the blame and the ones that realize life is hard for everyone you just have to do your best with what you have.

  • Quinton Kyle Hoover

    To be frank, even if the story comes across as a little sad, this is for the best. The way you describe the original Sweet Dee makes it sound far less funny. I think the character as she stands now is far from the “bright” one, and in fact she proves to be just as despicable as the rest of the cast.

    The way I see it, no matter what was going to happen you weren’t going to last on the show or in your relationship. So either you were going to break up with him because you got fired and it was awkward, or you were going to get fired because having an ex on-set unbalanced the chemistry. You can call it sexism, but you can’t really argue that the show as it is now is BETTER than it would have been in a world where you have stayed on. If anything they made the right choice.

    • jordanreid

      I would never argue that the show isn’t better with Kaitlin on it; she’s a phenomenal actress. But how good the show is – or how different, or even bad it would have been with me on it – is besides the point here. The point is that you can’t fire someone because they decide to stop sleeping with you, and you also don’t make a verbal agreement between four people, and then decide that it doesn’t count for one of them.

      • ladiva525

        well, you make it sound simpler than it is. you can’t know for sure if that is why you were fired. i get he said this to you in what seemed like an emotional conversation but considering how different sweet dee ended up being it could be that glen or charlie or the network had doubts about you and your version of the sweet dee character, before you broke up with rob. maybe you sleeping with rob kept you on the show rather than stopping sleeping with him kept you off of it. plus, what if he simply, for whatever reason, could not do his job if it meant having you around then one of you have to leave and he’s teh creator. when non famous coworkers break up it often leads to one person leaving. it’s no fair but it’s part of the dangers of sleeping with a coworker. the verbal agreement was if the network decided not to take one of you would all quit. it didn’t say anything if the group decided one person should leave. the reached consensus. it’s my understanding that charlie, rob and glenn write a lot of the premises and material for the show. did you write/create as much as much of the show as rob? if not, then why did you expect to made ep. kaitlin and danny aren’t eps either since they are only actors on the show. you’re not making a great case for how you deserve a seat at the table . what parts of the show did you come up with? what jokes from the pilot did you write?

  • Dennis

    Shut up, bird.

  • Steve Liberi

    Things end. That’s the way life is. That’s the beautiful part. Change is beauty. Without it, there is nothing new. No growth, no experience. I heard Glenn complaining in an interview that what he really wanted was to act in serious movie roles. This is how we waste our lives. In our heads. Money, pleasure, and attention are like heroin. They feel good, and they will make us waste our time trying to get them, but they don’t really mean anything. Freedom is the only thing worth having.

  • Jack Schoenmakers

    Hi Jordan, thank you so much for sharing this. Thank you so much for your contribution to the creation of the Always Sunny show! 🙂 it has made many of us laugh over the years. I have a few points of interest which I hope you will read:
    1) You were not entitled to star in the show, but you are absolutely entitled to at least ONE of the following attributions:
    a) You ‘co-created’ the show (only you know whether, and to what extent, you co-created it)
    b) You ‘developed’ the show, which is what Day and Howerton are credited with.
    – The ‘creation’ of the show logically occurred prior to / during the original pilot, in which you starred, and presumably co-produced. Did you also write any of the dialogue? Did you personally shape the development of any of the characters, or the show’s premise? Were you equal in the development in comparison to the other 3? Can you demonstrate any of the above with evidence, do you have witnesses, paperwork, videos, contracts?
    2) Please realize and accept that this is in no way a gender issue. Confusing the issue is what had led you (so far) to receive zero credit for your true role (either as co-creator, or developer), and has led to you receiving none of the financial renumeration to which you are entitled. Please forget Clinton, quote Judge Judy: “I suppose I was just too ignorant to realize I was negatively affected by my gender” 😉
    – Depending on the quality of evidence you are able to adduce in court (representing yourself as either having co-created or developed the show) with a good legal team, you could easily be entitled to somewhere in the $10M-$50M range. The show would not have existed without YOU, Jordan Reid. It is not clear to me how wealthy McIlhenny et all have become through the show, but you are CERTAINLY entitled to your share.
    3) Personally, I would have been extremely disappointed given the circumstances, it is not at all surprising that you found yourself dealing with bitterness in the past. Having read your articles it seems, to me, you were perhaps so obsessed with being an actress (which I’m sure you were very good at) that you didn’t (and perhaps still don’t) seem to realize that you are either the CO-CREATOR or CO-DEVELOPER of what is unquestionably one of the most respected, influential and successful comedies of this century!! Perhaps it would have been even better, had you stayed on board (certainly the peak of the show’s quality was season 1). You should be proud of your achievement. You are one of the creators, it is irrelevant that you dumped McInhenny (yes, you were probably too pretty for him) and he pulled you from the show’s cast. You should also be recognized and rewarded financially for your creative and physical contributions to the creation of the show. At the beginning of each episode, your name, Jordan Reid, should appear in the very first credit frame. The world – all the fans of Always Sunny – deserve to know the truth, that you were/are one of the creators.

    I only found out about you for the first time today. I personally never liked the Mac character, I never knew why; there seems to be something evil about the actor who plays him. I enjoy the rest of the cast far more and have always overlooked Mac for that reason.
    I believe I found out about you for a reason. I am angry, as a long-term viewer, that you were not acknowledged and credited. You owe it to the viewers, the truth must be told. The first season of Always Sunny was, by far, the best. There was a female spirit involved in the creation of that show, which had eluded me until today.
    4) When I saw your photo I could not believe how beautiful you are. When they told you FX had said you were too beautiful for the role, I genuinely wouldn’t be surprised if it were true. You made a comment about how you believed it could not be true. Actually, is is more ordinary than you think. You are hardly plausible as Dennis’s sister because you appear to have far superior genetics to him – in short, you made the other 3 look ugly. You would not have dated Cricket! Realistically, one of the charming characteristics of Olsen is that she is kind of ugly. It works well for the character she ended up playing. You probably never considered that before.

    Actually, the reason I found out about your existence is that I was looking for the original Pilot. Do you have any videos of you playing Dee? I’d love to see them! There are millions of people wondering why FX have never released the Pilot in full – just 2 short clips. The answer is painfully simple, they are covering up that you are one of the creators / developers of the show. Perhaps your portrayal of Sweet Dee was so good, that they cannot afford for us to see it. Equally likely, they don’t want us to know about you because you are entitled to moral and financial recognition. The whole thing reflects very badly on the show, so they would prefer to cover it up. All the more reason why they’ll probably settle OUT OF COURT with you, because you will certainly win your case and they would rather sweep it under the carpet that fight and lose both their case and money.
    I found this comment on Reddit: “If FX/FXX/FOX were to release this initial pilot with her in it, they would have to pay Reid and probably would wish to avoid doing that (not to mention not risking any legal action for Season 1/2 DVD royalties from her or her team due to it)”
    You will see, I am not the only one who realizes this is a can of worms read to blow open. Any right minded, moral person will agree with me that you must put together a world class legal team and assert your right to your legacy as creator / developer of Always Sunny, and you deserve some of the cream that the court will award you when you decide to stand up for the truth and for yourself.
    Again, thank you for contribution to the show, Jordan.

    Again, thanks for the part you played in creating and or developing the show!

    • jordanreid

      Hey Jack. Thanks for the kind words 🙂 I do have copies of the original pilot and first two episodes that we self-shot before the show sold to FX; they’re a little embarrassing, but still (mostly) fun to watch.

      • cool2st

        OMG! Please post them!!!!!!

powered by chloédigital