Why didn’t Mindy Kaling & Bill Hader sign on to ‘Inside Out 2’?

Pixar films have the reputation of being gut-punching tearjerkers so I generally avoid them. That being said, I’ve seen Inside Out a few times and I cry every time. It’s a really beautiful movie about growing up and being a kid and trying to figure out your own sh-t. The first film featured voice work from Amy Poehler (Joy), Mindy Kaling (Disgust), Bill Hader (Fear), Phyllis Smith (Sadness) and Lewis Black (Anger). The trailer for the sequel was just released this week:

It’s basically like… okay, this girl has to navigate puberty now, with some new emotions and anxiety. It should be great and moving. We’ve known for more than a year that Mindy and Bill Hader were not returning for Inside Out 2, but until this week, I had not heard why that was. Mindy especially was so proud of Inside Out and she was so moved by the story. So what happened? Pixar only offered Hader and Kaling 2% of what they offered Amy Poehler.

If you watched the trailer for Inside Out 2 released on Thursday and wondered why the voices of Mindy Kaling and Bill Hader were nowhere to be heard — here’s the answer. A report from Puck News published in 2022 revealed that Kaling and Hader, who played Disgust and Fear in the first film, were offered just 2% of Amy Poehler’s salary for voicing Joy.

“Star Amy Poehler is making $5 million (plus additional fees and bonuses), but Disney originally offered the other main voice cast just $100,000 (with no bonuses) to return, an insult that was politely declined,” the outlet explained.

Disney reportedly tried to up their initial offer after it was declined but Hader and Kaling still said no. As for Fear and Disgust? Tony Hale stepped in to replace Hader, and Liza Lapira will be taking over Kaling’s role.

Kaling confirmed that she would not be reprising her role in the film while speaking to TheWrap in January. “I had a great time working on Inside Out and am sure Inside Out 2 will be great,” the actress said. But I’m not working on it.”

[From The Messenger]

This really should have made more news at the time because WTF??? I get that you can make a solid argument that Amy is the “star” with her voice work as Joy, but the first film was truly an ensemble and it’s insane that Pixar thought they could get away with making such a low-ball offer to Hader and Kaling. If it had just been Kaling, I would say racism was at play (and maybe it is), but they treated a white guy like sh-t too.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

16 Responses to “Why didn’t Mindy Kaling & Bill Hader sign on to ‘Inside Out 2’?”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. 2legit2quit says:

    Mindy has such an iconic voice! How is Disney so bad at this? Good for her for knowing her worth.

  2. It’s really outrageous to offer 5 million to one and 100k to the others. I’d be pissed too because this was an ensemble cast. The mouse f ked up on an epic scale with this.

  3. Jen says:

    The Mouse is trash for this.

  4. North of Boston says:

    It been a while since I’ve seen IO, but isn’t one of the themes that you need all emotions? That one isn’t more important than the others?

    Disney has no business cheaping out on their pay for this. The original movie grossed over $850M. They surely could have spared a bit more in their starting offer

  5. Concern Fae says:

    That is way to big a gap between tier 1 and tier 2 salaries. But I bet we are going to see more of this when salaries become “equalized.” How much people will get paid will be based on the size of the role. Studios will lowball people instead of raising salaries to match the higher paid stars. People won’t get their usual offer and start turning down roles.

    Didn’t really care for the original Inside Out. Went cold on Pixar when their movies started being about ideas rather than characters. And it’s not a great model of how emotions work, anyways.

  6. SarahCS says:

    Wow! I’ve seen this film more than once and honestly had no idea who voiced the characters, they were all great and it was definitely an ensemble cast. The disparity here is ridiculous, how on earth do you even start to justify this? Kudos to them for walking away and still being able to say something positive.

    • Kate says:

      Yeah, I am surprised that there is such a gap there. Also, my first reaction was that Amy should have fought for her co-stars to be paid more, but at the end of the day it’s really on Disney to do the right thing and not Amy. I do still think that the stars with more weight can (and should) speak up because that is going to prove more quickly to companies that they need to pay people fairly.

  7. Courtney says:

    This is bizarre. I get that Amy Poehler is the star of the movie and is going to get the highest paycheck. But Mindy Kaling and Bill Hader are arguably as famous as she is. What a wild discrepancy in pay.

  8. Twin Falls says:

    I’ve seen inside out more than once and didn’t recognize any of the voices as famous people.

    I’m curious what they were all originally paid. Was the gap that big then? Did the studio offer them less for the sequel?

    $100,000 to $5 million is insulting on the mark wahlberg Michelle Williams level.

  9. GorgeousGecko says:

    Mindy look sooo gorgeous in that black outfit. Man, I wish she didn’t feel she needed to change anything.

  10. Sass says:

    I love Amy but I also love Mindy and Bill, the cast of this was a true ensemble and unique voices like theirs will not be easy to replicate or replace. I doubt the movie will do well; most animated sequels don’t when voice actors are changed.

    I honestly found Joy to be annoying. I think that was part of the point, but she only grew as a character when she realized the other emotions were important and valid, too. Way to miss the point of your own message Disney/Pixar.

    And honestly $100k in this economy? Insulting lol

  11. ML says:

    Mindy and Bill walked because the salaries were transparent. It took me a long time to ask around and (try) to figure out what other people were earning, because I honestly thought it was bad manners. Then I realized while talking to colleagues that certain people were earning a lot more and getting preferential treatment because we didn’t know anything about each other. Knowing what the company pays helps so much in determining how much you should be making and what you’re worth. I’m glad Mindy and Bill thanked Pixar and left. Earning less than 50 fricking times your coworker’s salary for similar work is unconscionable!

  12. Kirsten says:

    That’s an insane difference. Disney could’ve easily given them each at least a million dollars and never felt it. Gross.

  13. MoxyLady007 says:

    100% honesty – I adore bill hader as an actor and esp his voice work. I was going through an incredibly hard time and I watched his movkumentary – Sandy passages. I laughed so hard I was genuinely worried I might pass out but it was too good. I kept laughing. But it was a real turning point for me and I will be forever grateful.

    Like good for Amy for getting that $$$ but damn ….. that’s not a good look for Disney. Or unfortunately for her. we shouldn’t have to help our co workers negotiate for better pay – and it likely would have bitten her in the butt in the long run – but what are we ethically supposed to do in this situation. It’s not a fair place for her to be but until wage equality becomes a reality – it’s going to be on the privileged to help the less privileged.

    That’s the only way change happens.

  14. C says:

    After Velma 2% was above what Kaling is worth