LOS ANGELES – Actor Rob Lowe says he won't reconsider his decision to quit West Wing in the middle of the season.
"I have to go," he said yesterday.
West Wing star Martin Sheen made a heartfelt, public appeal this week for Lowe to stay and said the show's producers should take another stab at hammering out a deal to keep The West Wing cast together.
"We're hoping he will have a change of heart and that it's not a foregone conclusion," Sheen told Access Hollywood this week.
"It could happen," he said. "He could come to his senses and stay with us for a little while."
But Lowe says it's too late.
"I'm so disappointed that it's turned out this way and that I have to go," Lowe told KTTV, the Fox affiliate in Los Angeles. "Maybe Martin can get something done."
A spokesman for Warner Bros. Television, which produces West Wing, declined to comment yesterday. The show's fourth season kicks off with a two-hours special Sept. 25
Lowe, 38, has refused to say publicly about what's specifically driving him out of TV's White House. But it's been widely reported that Lowe is demanding to be paid more than his West Wing co-stars, or at least closer to what Sheen -- who plays President Josiah Bartlet -- makes.
Sheen is reportedly going to make $300,000 an episode this season, while producers offered Lowe about $70,000 a show, which puts him on par with co-stars Richard Schiff, Allison Janney, Bradley Whitford and John Spencer.
"I'd rather keep [his dispute with show's producers] private out of respect for what the show's accomplished, for what I've accomplished with this amazing group," Lowe said.
"My contract takes me to March and I'm going to live up to it. And when I do go, I would have been there longer than a lot of people in the real White House.
"But I love the show. It's been nothing but good for me."