Family fighting over fees
Stars of the hit series are involved in a contractual dispute, writes
FIVE stars from the hit comedy Modern Family are suing to void their contracts, arguing that the contracts are illegal under California law.
The suit filed on Tuesday by series stars Sofia Vergara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell argues that their contracts with 20th Century Fox Television violate a California law prohibiting personal service contracts from extending for more than seven years.
The lawsuit asks a judge to rule the contracts are illegal and should be voided because they prohibit the actors from other work. The lawsuit states the contracts bind the actors to work on the series from February, 2009, to June 30, 2016.
‘‘ Modern Family has been a breakout critical and financial success,’’ the lawsuit states.
‘‘That success, however, has been built upon a collection of illegal contracts.’’
A spokeswoman for 20th Century Fox said the studio had no immediate comment on the case.
The lawsuit also states contracts cap the rises the actors receive for each additional season of the show – Vergara’s pay rise per season is capped at 5 per cent, while the rest of her co-stars named in the suit are allowed to receive a maximum pay increase of 4 per cent per year. Ferguson, Stonestreet, Bowen and Burrell are also required to perform numerous unpaid publicity obligations.
The show recently concluded its third season.
Modern Family has won the Emmy Award for outstanding comedy series for the past two years. Several of the stars, including Burrell, Bowen and Stonestreet, have also won individual Emmys for their work on the show.
The show was recently nominated for 14 Emmy Awards, the most of any sitcom.
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stars Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet.