Gabrielle Union fans in Texas may have heard that on Oct. 11, the actress filed a lawsuit against BET, the network that produces her top-rated show "Being Mary Jane," alleging breach of contract. BET released a statement a day later saying that they were within their rights contractually and expressing a wish for a quick resolution.
According to the lawsuit, Union signed a contract with the network that does not obligate her to appear in more than 13 episodes each season so that she can balance her BET work with her movie career. BET also has a corporate policy for performer agreements that required her to agree to at least 10 episodes and no more than 26. BET is supposed to pay Union $150,000 per episode for season 4 and $165,000 per episode for season 5.
However, Union and her attorney argue that in requiring her to film 20 episodes at once, the network is attempting to combine those seasons and avoid using its option to extend her contract. It is also trying to avoid paying the additional $15,000 per episode that the additional season will cost.
Contract disputes may arise in any industry, and a person or business dealing with one might want to contact an attorney. There may be a variety of options available ranging from mediation to litigation. In some cases, such as enforcing a noncompete agreement, a company's aim might be to stop a specific activity. In other cases, receiving payment for damages or renegotiating the terms of a contract might be higher priorities. How a contract dispute is approached will depend in part upon what the main goal is in resolving it.
Source: ABC News, "Gabrielle Union Sues BET Over 'Being Mary Jane' Contract" Luchina Fisher and Lesley Messer, Oct. 12, 2016