Rob Lowe thinks otherwise The West Wing than the fans of the show.
The actor created the character of Sam Seaborn, the Bartlet administration’s deputy communications director, in the show’s very first episode, but he left the critically acclaimed political drama by its fourth season. The last three seasons that aired before the show closed in 2006 just weren’t the same, after his character transitioned into becoming a politician.
On Wednesday’s episode of the Stitcher Studios podcast Pod crushedLowe was asked about his departure, and he summarized it this way: “I walked away from the most popular girl in school, but I also knew it was a super unhealthy relationship, and it was the best thing I ever did.”
The unofficial story when Lowe left, as reported by Daily Varietyh, was that he did so because he couldn’t get the salary he wanted. The publication said Lowe, who was initially the biggest name in the cast, started the show earning $75,000 per episode. The others in the ensemble received raises to about the same level as the show progressed. Except, of course, Martin Sheen, who played the president, who wasn’t expected to be a character in the first place; e was reportedly making $300,000 per episode by then. Already an alum of movies like Apocalypse now And Wall StreetSheen was the father of Lowe’s childhood friends Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen, going so far as to publicly beg Lowe to stay.
“He’s great on the show,” Sheen said Access to Hollywood through Entertainment Weekly. “I don’t think he’s ever been better at anything else, honestly. Are you listening, Rob?”
His plea did not work.
When Lowe left, he issued a statement as to why Seaborn would be deregistered.
As much as it hurts to admit it, it has been increasingly clear for some time now that there was no place for Sam Seaborn on the The West Wing,” he said per CNN. “Warner Bros. however, gave me the chance to leave the show when I arrived… grateful for it, glad I was there and proud of it. We were part of television history and I will never forget it.”
Meanwhile, the companies behind the show, Warner Brothers Television and John Wells Productions, said of Lowe, “We appreciate his numerous contributions to the success of the series and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
As Lowe explained Pod crushed hosts Pen Badgley, Nava Kavelin and Sophie Ansari, his decision came down to one thing.
“I felt very undervalued,” says Lowe, the author of 2012’s Stories I only tell my friends. “Whenever I talk to actors complaining about, you know, their relationships on their shows, it happens. It happens in every workplace. You could be in an environment where people are berating you, wanting to see you fail, not appreciating you. whatever it is and when I share my stories people say, ‘I’ll never share my own stories again.’ It would make your hair stand on end and there’s a few I’ve written I’ve shared a few in my book but I purposely didn’t share half the others because it makes the people involved look so bad would show that I didn’t.’ I don’t want to do it to them.
“So I didn’t have a good experience. I tried to make it work and tried to make it work and tried to make it work and then what happened was my kids got to a certain age where I could see them having first girlfriends or friends and being in a relationship that was abusive and took it,” said Lowe, the father of sons John Owen, a 27-year-old actor, and venture capitalist Matthew, 29. “She’s the popular girl, everyone likes her, she’s beautiful , it must be great. All the things people would say about making The West Wing to me. It’s so popular, it’s so amazing, it must be great, but I know what it’s like and if I can’t run away from it, how can I enable my kids to run away from it?”
Still, the TV star made a memorable return to White House drama in the final season, when his character accepted the role of deputy chief of staff for the incoming administration.
Lowe himself starred in TV shows such as Brothers and sisters, parks and recreation, the mill, Code Black, 9-1-1: Lone Star and this year’s Netflix series Unstablein which he appears with his son.