Gabrielle Union, BET Networks Reach Settlement
UPDATE December 27, 2016: BET Networks released the following statement on behalf of the lawsuit:
“BET Networks is pleased to announce that they have reached an amicable agreement with Gabrielle Union and look forward to sharing the new season of ‘Being Mary Jane’ with its loyal fans beginning January 10, 2017,” the network said in a statement on Tuesday.”
ORIGINAL POST October 12, 2016:
Right on the heels of rejoicing for the fourth season of Being Mary Jane, it seems that the fictional character isn’t the only one dealing with drama.
Gabrielle Union, who portrays Mary Jane as a strong and complex journalist ready to take on a battle when it comes her way, is taking matters into her own hands off the screen as it relates to her contract with BET.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Union claims that the network is combining seasons four and five of the hit show, Being Mary Jane to lower her pay and extend her contract.
Union reportedly filed a lawsuit on Tuesday in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, which states that the network agreed it would never produce more than 13 episodes per season. However, now, BET is trying to tape two, 10-episodes back to back. The change would “fraudulently” extend the term of her contract.
Martin Singer, Union’s attorney, claims that the network is trying to avoid paying his client’s contractual raise while working to engage her services for another year. Contractually, Union is allegedly set to receive $165,000 for season five – a 15-thousand dollar raise from the $150,000 she is set to make per episode for season four.
Union is seeking damages of at least $1 million for breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation, in addition to an order that her contract be amended to reflect that there be a minimum of 13 episodes per season.
BET responded to the lawsuit, stating: “While we hold Gabrielle Union in the highest esteem, we feel strongly that we are contractually well within our rights and are committed to reaching a swift and positive resolution in this matter.”