Modern Family stars locked in salary dispute

Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet among those to reject offer

Modern Family stars locked in salary dispute
24 July 2012

Cam and Mitch want more money.

Well, at least the actors who portray the gay couple on ABC’s Modern Family do.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet have joined castmates Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara on Tuesday (24 July) in suing to void their contracts on the Emmy winning show.

They five actors have rejected the latest salary offer from producers 20th Century Fox. According to TheWrap.com, the five stars were offered a figure of $150,000 per episode and a $50,000 bonus per episode for the upcoming fourth season. They were then offered $200,000 per episode for the fifth season.

In banding together for the salary negotiations, the cast members are employing a strategy similar to that of the cast of Friends which resulted in the stars of that show becoming among the highest-paid television stars of their time.

The Modern Family stars maintain that their current contract is in violation of California law because it is a personal service contract that extends beyond seven years through June 2016.

They are asking a judge to rule the contracts are illegal and should be voided because they prohibit the actors from other work.

The lawsuit states: ‘Modern Family has been a breakout critical and financial success. That success, however, has been built upon a collection of illegal contracts.’

The series has won the outstanding comedy series for the past two years and was recently nominated for 14 Emmys including nods for each of the actors involved in the salary dispute. Burrell, Bowen and Stonestreet have previously won Emmys for their roles.

Ed O’Neil, who plays the father of the Ferguson and Bowen characters and the husband of Vergara’s, is not part of the legal action.

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