Fam­ily fight­ing over fees

Stars of the hit se­ries are in­volved in a con­trac­tual dis­pute, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRIDAY EXTRA -

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.

Daily, var­i­ous times, Fox 8; Com­ing soon, Ten, Ten SC.

stars Jesse Tyler Fer­gu­son and Eric Ston­estreet.

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