Gabrielle Union isn’t done “Being Mary Jane” just yet.
The actress has reached a settlement in Union’s multi-million-dollar breach of contract lawsuit against the Black Entertainment Television service. In October, Union and her team claimed that the network reneged on an agreement to have a substantial break between the show’s fourth and fifth seasons. Instead, they allowed production to run back-to-back to cut costs. According to Union’s lawyers, she and BET previously agreed to 13-episode maximum seasons to accommodate for her blockbuster career.
“By way of example, for Season Four of the Series, the Agreement provides that Plaintiffs are to be paid $150,000 per episode for a minimum of thirteen (13) episodes of the Series, and for Season Five of the Series the Agreement provides that Plaintiffs are to be paid $165,000 per episode for a minimum of thirteen (13) episodes of the Series,” read the suit.
To make matters worse, “BET now wants to shoot twenty (20) episodes of the series back-to-back and cram all of the episodes into a single season in order to fraudulently extend the term of Ms. Union’s contract, with no additional consideration, and to deprive Ms. Union of her agreed-upon compensation for the next two seasons of Being Mary Jane,” stated the filing.
Previously reported, Union spoke candidly about the suit, alleging that BET and Viacom were trying to take advantage of her because she’s a woman. “My mortgage. My mortgage alone (laughs). I put in the same hours as most men and if not more. And I deserve to get paid the same. Equal pay, equal work. And that’s how it should be. And if you stand up for nothing, you’ll fall for anything,” she said in an interview at the time. Meanwhile, series producer, Breakdown Productions, also a defendant in the suit, promised it was “committed to reaching a swift and positive resolution.”
Shortly after news of the settlement broke, BET released a statement of their own, saying, “BET has released a statement following today’s settlement. “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.”
Fortunately for fans, earlier this year, the original TV movie (turned series), which debuted on BET in 2013, announced it’ll be returning for season four, despite all the drama.