$5 million/year for what amounts to a part-time job?
Not bad at all.
That's what former Miami judge Marilyn Milian makes a year for presiding over TV's long-running The People's Court, according to today's New York Post, which claims the show has racheted up the controversy ("harsher and more sexualized in recent years") since the Judge Wapner era.
The Post article delves into how a recent plaintiff has gone to real court to stop an episode from being aired after she was allegedly humilated by the judge. Claudia Evart says that "It was a nightmare, and I wish I never did it." The article also discusses missing person Michele Parker who disappeared shortly after her contentious appearance in the TV courtroom.
According to the article, the show pays the entire judgment for the loser in cases that originate in real small claims courts around the country as well as a nominal appearance fee to both litigants. This may be a change; some years back we saw a standard contract for the show that set forth a sliding scale of reimbursement based on the judgment amount. Since no money is apparently changing hands between the parties, it's interesting that the litigants still get very fired up when they plead their case on TV.
The long-running show is one of our guilty pleasures. The authors of the Post article aren't particularly enamored, however:
Milian, 50, is the fourth judge in the show’s history, and her immense popularity must be part of some visceral need Americans currently have to be hectored and lectured by well-coiffed middle-aged women (see: Nancy Grace, Judge Judy).
Milian, however, is a far more feminine, flirtatious presence. Although she also exhibits the Grace/Judge Judy brand of explosive, unpredictable female rage, her docket is far more sexed up, it’s cases like mini reality shows.