The cast of “Modern Family” wants out of their current contracts for the show — all in a bold move to score much fatter pay cheques. The cast members Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara have filed a lawsuit against 20th Century Fox TV, demanding their existing contracts be declared null and void.
According to the lawsuit, the contracts violate a seven-year law in California that bars personal service contracts with duration longer than seven years. As a result, the cast wants them tossed out presumably so they can renegotiate for more money. The cast also wants the freedom to pursue other acting gigs outside “Modern Family” and Fox TV — a freedom that’s severely curtailed by their current contracts.
It’s the latest in the bitter salary negotiations between the cast members and 20th Century Fox. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox recently made an offer to increase the cast’s salary as follows: $150,000 per episode plus a $50,000 per episode bonus for season four; $200,000 per episode for season five, $225,000 for season six, and up to $325,000 for an anticipated season nine. But the cast reportedly rejected the offer and is now demanding much more.
While “Modern Family” patriarch Ed O’Neill is not listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit, there are rumours that he has decided to join his cast members out of solidarity.
The actors have gained immense fame after the show’s ratings touched the ceiling. Sofia Vergara who plays the role of Gloria in the TV series has recently been crowned the highest-paid actor on television by editors at Forbes magazine. She has recently also joined the cast of hit TV comedy series “Family Guy” and will play lead character Peter Griffin’s fantasy love interest in the show, reports starpulse.com.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2012.
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