Michael Landon’s script decision was a “slap in the face,” says Karen Grassle


Karen Grassle became famous after she starred in Caroline “Ma” Ingalls. had played Little house on the prairie. She has a lot to say about her time on the show. One moment that stood out for Grassle was a conversation she had with Michael Landon about her role in one of her latest episodes. She says she felt disrespected by the late actor.

Karen Grassle’s contract dispute on “Little House on the Prairie”

Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls and Karen Grassle as Caroline Ingalls | NBCU Photo Bank

To Little house on the prairie After the first season, the actors began negotiating new contracts. Grassle felt she was making more money, so she fought for a higher salary. However, she says she has encountered resistance. In her opinion, Michael Landon stated that her salary should be more in line with the child actors.

In her book Bright lights, prairie dust: reflections on life, loss and love by Little Houses MaGrassle also says Landon told her she wasn’t the audience’s favorite character, so she should be paid less. She claims Landon told her NBC was doing audience “tests” and according to him, NBC concluded that she should be paid less because she was one of the least popular Small house Sign.

Grassle returned to work while her contract was being reviewed. However, she noticed that she was getting less screen time. She says her scenes “shrink” as she waited for her contract to be closed. In her contract, she required that at least two episodes contain a story that focused on Caroline Ingalls. Unfortunately, Grassle says her character slowly faded and Ma Ingalls became “the incredibly shrinking woman”.

During this time, says Grassle, Landon grew cold towards her. She says that he doesn’t appreciate that she is pushing back and not accepting a low offer. Her disagreements seeped into her work, and she had trouble delivering her lines with passion. Grassle says waiting for the final word on her contract made it difficult to focus on her job. NBC later released new contracts and Grassle received a raise.

Karen Grassle says Michael Landon’s decision was a “slap in the face”

Karen Grassle and Michael Landon pose as Charles and Caroline Ingalls

Karen Grassle and Michael Landon | NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Grassle says she had a lot of conflicts with Landon on the set of Little house on the prairie. Towards the end of her tenure, she ran into another problem with her role. She noted again that her screen time decreased shortly after she announced she was leaving the show. She let the producers know that season 8 would be their last.

Grassle was upset when she received the script for “Stone Soup” and learned that there would be limited appearances. The consequence (Little house on the prairie Season 8 episode 12) focused on Melissa Gilbert’s character Laura Ingalls.

Grassle says when she confronted Landon about the script, he told her to raise her concerns with NBC and if she was unhappy, she could sue. However, she told him that it was his show and that he was the one who should make the decisions. Grassle says no changes were made to the script. It didn’t appear until the middle and end of the episode. Grassle says the way Landon responded was like a “slap in the face”.

Karen Grassle says she didn’t go down well at the Little House on the Prairie closing party

Grassle attended the final graduation party for Little house on the prairie. She wanted to show her support and celebrate the start of the spin-off show, Little House: A New Beginning. Grassle had a cake delivered that said, “From our house to yours, all the best! In love, mom. “

She was looking forward to saying goodbye to her TV kids one last time and celebrating a new chapter in the franchise. Unfortunately, things did not go as Grassle expected. In her opinion, she was received in a cool way. When she looked for the cake she sent, she saw that it had been “pushed into a dark corner”. Grassle decided to just “let go” and move on.

Grassle has successfully moved on. A few years later, she and Landon made amends. After Landon made an offer, she agreed to appear on the 1984 TV special Little house: the last farewell. Grassle says she is no longer bitter. Grassle says in her book: “I had worked hard to heal the injuries I was carrying when I left.”

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