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Eric Stonestreet talks ‘Modern Family’ contract negotiations

Larry King NowMay 08 '17

‘Modern Family’ star Eric Stonestreet opens up about the status of the cast’s ongoing contract negotiations ahead of the show’s ninth season, as well as their previous lawsuit against the studio.

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Larry King: You have not signed a contract for the ninth season of ‘Modern Family’?

Eric Stonestreet: No, we haven’t.

Larry King: And why not, Eric?

Eric Stonestreet: Well I should say, as of right this moment, we have not signed a contract. I don’t know what the future holds, but everyone’s hopeful and pretty confident we will be back for a ninth season, and hopefully a tenth season.

Larry King: Why not, it’s hysterical.

Eric Stonestreet: Yeah, and I think it’s still really, really great. I mean there obviously are people that think that in the ninth or eighth season of a TV show that it’s gone downhill, but I think our writers are still delivering top-notch.

Larry King: Who is the star?

Eric Stonestreet: Of ‘Modern Family’? Well, you know, I think when the show started, it was Ed O’Neill, because everybody knew Ed from ‘Married with Children.’

Larry King: He was the one who had been on other shows.

Eric Stonestreet: But the neat thing about our show is we’ve always kind of thought of ourselves as very much an ensemble, we all carry the same amount of the comedy and the weight and the workload, because we shoot the show so modularly that we’re all there about the same amount of time. But I think we’re all equally great.

Larry King: Which leads to, are you all equally paid the same?

Eric Stonestreet: Yeah, yeah.

Larry King: Is that true?

Eric Stonestreet: Well the kids are a different deal, the other ones-

Larry King: I mean the kids have grown up now.

Eric Stonestreet: Yeah, but they’re on their own.

Larry King: But the adults on ‘Modern Family.’

Eric Stonestreet: The adults are—yes.

Larry King: You make the same as-

Eric Stonestreet: Yes, yes.

Larry King: So when you negotiate, do you negotiate as a group?

Eric Stonestreet: In a sense-

Larry King: Don’t you have individual agents?

Eric Stonestreet: We all have individual agents, but we all kind of also agree that none of us are going back to work for anything less than the rest of anybody. Because none of that think that way. It’s not like anyone’s stepping out and saying, “I want more, because.”

Larry King: Wasn’t there a year once where you almost walked?

Eric Stonestreet: We did, and it was right before I came to your show the first time. We had a conversation about it. It’s just so uncomfortable and awkward, but you know-

Larry King: Well you’re entitled.

Eric Stonestreet: Yeah, we are, but it was rough. And we had to sort of file a brief against the studio for an illegal contract.

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