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Cast of ‘Modern Family’ Sues 20th Century Fox View Count: 57

Twentieth Century Fox has been sued by the cast of ‘Modern Family’ in an effort to void contracts that place a cap on pay and limit work done outside the show. The sitcom is television’s most watched comedy in the United States. Prior to the fourth season of the show, the cast is trying to cancel the contracts mentioned earlier. The lawsuit was filed in California state court in Los Angeles on Tuesday. According to the lawsuit, the contracts violate state labor law that prohibits specific contracts for performing services that last over seven years.

The contract for Sofia Vergara permits only a 5 percent increase each year per episode. Other cast members are limited to four percent more each year. Those cast members include Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell and Eric Stonestreet. The cast also claims that without the consent of Fox, they are not permitted to find roles outside of the show.

The contract for Vergara started in 2007 and she received an amended version in 2009 by 20th Century Fox that requires her work in television to remain exclusively with Fox until the year 2015. Vergara claims that she never signed those amendments. The cast of the show is being represented by Jeffery D. McFarland, who is a partner with Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP.

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Cast of 'Modern Family' Sues 20th Century Fox by

  • Zafar Hasan

    Posted by Zafar Hasan: As a former associate at Foley Lardner, I can confirm that you cannot simply cancel contracts because you do not like them. On the contrary, there needs to be some kind of basis for canceling the agreement. After all, the cast members thought the agreement was fine before they knew the show would be such a hit. Now that it has become a hit, of course they don’t like the transaction they cut.

    That said, if they hold the line and act in concert, law notwithstanding, they will likely accomplish the goal of re-negotiation. Zafar Hasan

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