The cast of “Modern Family” has declared war on producer 20th Century Fox Television.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that cast members Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara have filed suit today in Los Angeles Superior Court to void their contracts. The legal theory, according to sources who have seen the lawsuit, is that their deals violate California’s “7 Year Rule,” which prohibits personal services contracts for longer than 7 years. This tactic is a common one for actors who seek to void contracts during renegotiations for increased compensation.
The move comes amid a salary standoff that has already delayed today’s scheduled table read that would have marked the start of the fourth season of Modern Family, one of TV’s top-rated comedies. The cast, minus Ed O’Neill, who is paid more than his co-stars and is negotiating separately, has hired litigator Jeff McFarland with LA’s Quinn Emanuel firm and are pressing their case in court.
UPDATE: A source close to the negotiations tells THR that O’Neill has decided to join his castmembers as a plaintiff in the lawsuit out of solidarity. O’Neill has his own salary beef with 20th TV but he is paid on a different track and was thus not involved in the original plans to sue.
Ha, haha, ha HA!
Give them more money! For shame fox… for shame…