April 19, 2011 18:18:00 GMT
'Happy Days' cast members have taken legal action against bosses at U.S. TV network CBS, insisting they haven't been paid for the continued use of their images.
Attorney Jon Pfeiffer, acting on behalf of the actors on "Happy Days", filed a breach of contract suit against the firm executives in a Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday. He accuses network bosses of using the cast's photos on casino slot machines without paying them a portion of their rightful earnings.
The stars of the hit American sitcom, which aired between 1974 and 1984, were promised a five per cent cut from net proceeds if their sole image was used and a two-and-a-half per cent cut if their image appeared as part of a group shot. However, the actors claim they haven't received a dime from the merchandising.
Marion Ross, who played Marion Cunningham, is furious she's been locked out from the extra royalties accrued since the slot machines were installed in 2008.
She tells CNN, "Somebody came up to me and said, 'You must be cleaning up on those casinos.' I said, 'What are you talking about?' And he said, 'If you get five Marion's, you hit the jackpot.'"
Although CBS bosses admit to owing the stars at most $9,000 (GBP5,625) each, the cast members believe they are entitled to millions.
A representative for the company has since released a statement that reads, "We agree that funds are owed to the actors and (we) have been working with them for quite some time to resolve the issue."