BET’s Being Mary Jane has proved a smash hit for the network and for its star Gabrielle Union since the show’s 2013 premiere. But, a new legal dispute could possibly determine the fate of the show.
According to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Tuesday, Union claims that BET tried to film two seasons simultaneously in order to lower her pay and extend her contract.
The actress says that the network agreed to never shoot more than 13 episodes per season and is trying to get around that agreement by choosing to “cram all of the episodes into a single season in order to fraudulently extend the term of Ms. Union’s contract.”
As part of her contract, Union was set to receive $150,000 per episode for season four and $165,000 per episode for season five, combining the seasons would prevent the star from getting her season five pay increase.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Union is seeking as much as $3 million in damages as well the assurance that her contract will be amended.
News of the lawsuit broke late yesterday and BET has since responded.
“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,” the network said in a statement.