The titular characters in ABC's sitcom Modern Family have always been dysfunctional, but now they're banding together to pick a fight with a common enemy: 20th Century Fox Television.
Six of the adults in the show's cast have banded together to demand an increase in salary. After salary negotiations broke down this week, Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Sofia Vergara, and Ed O'Neill are suing 20th Century Fox Television, hoping to void their contracts with the studio.
The cast had rejected an offer from the studio on Monday, which reportedly offered them $200,000 per episode in season 4, steadily increasing the salary each year. The offer also specified that their salaries would increase to $325,000 per episode if the series reaches nine seasons. The cast members want twice that figure if the series lasts nine seasons.
The sextet's lawsuit argues that their deals violate California's "Seven Year Rule," which states that contracts such as these cannot last for longer than seven years. The same tactic was used by the cast of Friends back in the 1990s.
The actors reportedly made around $65,000 an episode during the show's third season. save for O'Neill, who is estimated to have made around $105,000 per episode.
Ed O'Neill originally did not plan to sue alongside the other five cast members, as his salary is arranged differently than theirs, but joined the lawsuit as a plaintiff as an act of solidarity.
The lawsuit, if not settled quickly, could result in production delays for the show's upcoming fourth season; a table read Tuesday morning was cancelled because the cast members refused to show up.
As it is, Modern Family is expected to premiere on ABC this fall.