Cast of ‘Modern Family’ sues to void ‘illegal’ contract
The cast of the ABC hit series “Modern Family” filed a lawsuit Tuesday over contract renegotiations for the upcoming season. Sofia Vergara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell united to sue 20th Century Fox Television arguing their contracts are illegal under California law. The lawsuit asks a judge to rule that their contracts be voided. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, states the cast’s contracts prohibit them from working on other projects and binds them to “Modern Family” from February 2009 to June 30, 2016.
Vergara, 40, Ferguson, 36, Stonestreet, 40, Bowen, 42, and Burrell, 44, claim their current contract is a violation of a California law that prohibits personal service contracts from exceeding seven years.
“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.”
The cast members also claim their contracts put a limit on how high a raise they receive for each additional season of the show. Vergara’s raise reportedly can’t exceed five percent per season, and the other members are capped at four percent per year.
Nonetheless, the cast is expected to meet and get to work on the premiere episode of the fourth season on Thursday, July 26.