The cast of "Modern Family" is fighting producer 20th Century Fox over their contracts. According to The Hollywood Reporter, cast members Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara are suing 20th Century Fox over their contracts.
According to Deadline.com, the planned Season 4 table read was canceled on Tues., July 24 after the cast and producers could not come to a terms on a new contract. Now the stars have taken the battle to court.
THR reports the five cast members want their contracts voided, and are claiming they violate a Californian labor code which says personal service contracts lasting more than seven years cannot be enforced.
UPDATE: Ed O'Neill has joined the suit, according to The Hollywood Reporter. O'Neill reportedly joined the lawsuit as a sign of solidarity even though he's been engaged in his own contract dispute.
Bowen, Burrell, Ferguson, Stonestreet and Vergara were negotiating together, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The five actors reportedly shot down a deal for $150,000 an episode, with a $50,000 bonus per episode for Season 4. The cast was asking for $200,000 per episode for Season 4. Ed O'Neill is also in negotiations, but he was paid more than the rest of the cast during previous seasons. Burrell, Bowen, Stonestreet, Vergara and Ferguson were reportedly getting $65,000 per episode for Season 3 while O'Neill was making $105,000.
The cast is currently contracted through Season 7 of the series, but ABC and 20th Century Fox are trying to get them to sign for Seasons 8 and 9. The deal the cast rejected, according to THR, included salary bumps over each new season. For Season 4 the cast would have been paid $150,000 per episode plus the $50,000 bonus, escalating to $200,000 per episode for Season 5, $225,000 for Season 6, and up to $325,000 for Season 9.
The cast has remained mum on Twitter regarding the ongoing negotiations, but "Modern Family" co-creator Steve Levitan tweeted about the now-canceled table read on Mon., July 23.