Cast of Modern Family files lawsuit to renegotiate contracts

July 26, 2012 2:59 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Entertainment law can get tricky and, by partnering with Phoenix business attorneys, businesses in Arizona can ensure that they protect their assets. Actors, singers and other entertainers often find issues with their contracts and companies that refuse to renegotiate with these individuals may find themselves in the midst of a lawsuit, much like 20th Century Fox which has had a suit filed against them by the cast of the popular television show Modern Family.

Five key actors from the show – Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara – have filed a lawsuit in an attempt to gain higher salaries and break their current contract with the studio. The actors wish to sign a new agreement to gain increased wages.

Actor Ed O'Neill was not initially one of the plaintiffs but came aboard within hours of the filed complaint, according to Variety. On Wednesday, studio representatives and the actors engaged in conversations attempting to reach an agreement. However, one legal provision – informally known as the De Havilland Law – favors the studio in this case, as it enforces a seven year limit on contracts in California. Because the television show has been on for less than this seven-year cap, the studio is under no legal obligation to renegotiate the agreements.

The actors are receiving $60,000 per episode under their current contract and are asking to increase their salary to $200,000 for every installment. The Chicago Tribune reported that the thespians have been attempting to renegotiate their contracts for the past 18 months and have ultimately chosen the legal sector to state their case.

"It's a pretty natural instinct among actors who see the money flowing into the network and the studio to want their share," Sandy Grushow, chief content officer of consulting firm MediaLink, told the Los Angeles Times.

Businesses or entertainers in Arizona that are attempting to renegotiate a contract like Modern Family's cast – or who need their contract(s) reviewed or drafted – may need to speak with Phoenix business law attorneys who have the necessary knowledge and experience to either prevent or solve any problems quickly.

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