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BET holds its ground in response to Gabrielle Union lawsuit

BET holds its ground in response to Gabrielle Union lawsuit
Gabrielle Union at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Birth of a Nation." (Chris Pizzello/Invision/Associated Press)

BET has responded to the multimillion-dollar breach of contract lawsuit filed by Gabrielle Union, and from the looks of things the network is holding its ground.

On Tuesday, the star of the hit drama "Being Mary Jane" filed suit against BET for what Union sees as a shift in the episode order and time demands in filming the series. The suit claims Union agreed to no more than 13 episode seasons for the series, which would allow her to pursue movie roles (Union appears in the recently released "The Birth of a Nation" as well as the upcoming comedy "Almost Christmas").

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According to the suit, BET demanded two 10-episode orders for the fourth and fifth seasons of "Being Mary Jane" to be filmed back to back, which in Union's view constituted a breach of contract.

"BET now wants to shoot 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," read the suit, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. "It is outrageous that BET would treat one of its biggest stars in this manner after all she has done to support the network and contribute to its success."

Union is seeking $3 million in damages and a return to a 13-episode schedule.

On Wednesday, BET 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," read a statement from the network.

Follow me over here @chrisbarton.

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