02/03/2017 11:40 GMT

The Big Bang Theory’s Five Lead Stars ‘Offer To Take Pay Cuts’ So They Can Close The Gender Pay Gap

Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch are bargaining for raises.

The five lead stars of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ - Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg - have all reportedly agreed to take pay cuts, so that two of their female co-stars, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, can receive pay increases.

The five leads have all been in the show since its debut in 2007, and according to reports in the US, they’ve agreed to say goodbye to $100,000 of the $1 million they receive for each episode - yes that’s right, each episode - so that Mayim and Melissa can bargain for bigger pay packets.

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The cast are all close friends behind-the-scenes 

According to Variety, who broke the story, Mayim and Melissa are currently on $200,000 per episode, and will negotiate to bump this figure up to $450,000 for the upcoming 11th and 12th seasons of the show.

In the years since they joined the cast, the two actresses’ characters have become as central as the original five, and Mayim has received four Emmy nominations for her role as Sheldon Cooper’s girlfriend, Amy Farrah Fowler.

‘The Big Bang Theory’ has become one of CBS’s biggest shows, and it’s the channel’s number one comedy, for viewers aged 18-49 years old.

The ninth season in particular was labelled a huge success, as an average of 20 million people tuned in to watch each show.

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