The series’ lead actors Sofia Vergara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell filed suit against 20th Century Fox TV executives on Tuesday (24Jul12), claiming their longterm deals were in violation of California labour laws, which state that personal service contracts can last no longer than seven years.
Ed O’Neill added his name to the legal action on Thursday (26Jul12), standing united with his five co-stars in a bid to have their prior agreements declared null and void, allowing them to renegotiate fresh agreements with increased salaries.
A deal was reached on Friday (27Jul12) to end the dispute, ensuring filming can resume on Monday (30Jul12).
Executive producer Christopher Lloyd tells the Associate Press, “The particular grounds for the lawsuit are debatable. It was a tactic in negotiations. I don’t think it was ever taken that seriously. It was a step along the way. I think personally our actors got some bad advice. I have nothing negative to say about our actors.
“It could have been avoided if Fox and ABC wanted to overpay. It could have been avoided if the actors asked for less than they probably deserve.
“I don’t know the terms of (the deal), probably both sides feel it didn’t end up where they wanted it to end up and that’s usually the sign it was a well-executed negotiation.”
The fourth season of Modern Family is expected to premiere in September (12).