On Why She Left ‘Girlfriends’
Essence.com: Nothing wrong with spreading your wings, which brings me to your departure from Girlfriends. Tracee Ellis Ross said in an interview that the reason you didn’t return was because the cast did not receive the huge raise they were expecting. Is that true.
J.M.J: First of all, let me tell you why I left. I left because I wanted to do movies. My contract was up after my sixth season and people forget that just like the network can choose whether or not to renew your contract, I can also choose and evaluate whether or not I want to come back. My actor’s chair that has Girlfriends and my name on it, you know the director’s chair? Well, on the very last day of my sixth season, I told them to grab my chair and put it in my car for me. Then we had to negotiate a contract that doesn’t happen until they decide that your show is going to be picked up. You end the show in like February and then they don’t decide if they are going to pick you up because the upfronts until May. So why would I take my chair if I thought I was coming back? Believe you me, I would tell you. I’ve never made a decision based on money. I was on the show for six years and I think that’s a good run. There’s so much more I want to do in my career and so much more I want to know and learn, but my departure definitely had nothing to do with money.
On Her Current Relationship With The ‘Girlfriends’ Cast:
Essence.com: Do you still keep in touch with the cast?
J.M.J: I’ve talked to them individually at different times. I have so much love for all of them. But are we hanging out and having some wine and cheese on a Saturday night? No. Do I think of them as friends? Absolutely. In a way, I think of them as extended family, like cousins. I’ve talked to them individually throughout this, but I don’t talk to them on a regular basis. I wish them all well and I still watch the show.
There’s no doubt ‘Girlfriends’ has been kinda lacking since Jill’s departure. Still, it’s good to know there’s no hard feeling between her and the rest of the cast.