Ariel Winter Returns For ‘Modern Family’ Season 7, Racy Snaps Worry Fans

Ariel Winter is not leaving Modern Family anytime soon. Steve Levitan, co-creator and executive producer of the hit ABC series, denied rumors claiming that the 18-year-old was fired from the show as part of Season 7’s budget cuts.

Rumors claimed that Ariel Winter was fired from Modern Family to “satisfy the salary requirements of Sofia Vergara, Ed O’Neill, and Julie Bowen.” The three made the list of the highest-paid TV actors in 2015, with Vergara banking $28.5 million, O’Neill with $10.5 million, and Bowen with $12 million. The source claimed that in order to renew deals for the “big three” actors, some of the younger actors would be shuffled or cut entirely.

Rumors suggested that Winter’s character, Alex Dunphy, was not “central to the show,” adding that she is at the “top of the chopping block.” While the Dog Years star was devastated to hear the news, an insider claimed that she was actually excited for the next opportunity, adding that Winter was “angling for her own show.”

It did not take long before Modern Family co-creator Steve Levitan cleared rumors of Winter’s exit. Speaking to Gossip Cop, Levitan said that Winter will definitely return for Season 7.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. Ariel is a beloved cast member and a crucial part of our show. While she is starting to attend classes this year at UCLA, we are happy to report that she’ll continue to be a part of Modern Family’s coming season.”

In other news, Page Six reported that Ariel Winter has been spending a lot of time with Lost actor Sterling Beaumon following her split with longtime boyfriend Laurent Claude Gaudette in June. Early this week, Winter and Beaumon were spotted leaving the Nice Guy together. The Modern Family star also wore her “cheekiest” ensemble to date and gave the paparazzi a better look at her behind when she got into the car. Winter later poked fun at her outfit and shared a black-and-white photo on Instagram with the caption “About last night…”

Last week, E! News also reported that Winter and Beaumon acted “very flirty” at a SkySpace LA event. An eyewitness said that the two definitely looked like they were more than friends.

Winter and Beaumon reportedly have known each other for a while and even co-starred in a 2010 Nintendo commercial. The two have been friends ever since and attended various events together. Now that Winter is single, could there be something going on between the two?

Meanwhile, fans of Ariel Winter are reportedly starting to worry that the 18-year-old is heading down a dangerous Hollywood pat and turning into the next Lindsay Lohan. While Winter plays a nerdy freshman on Modern Family, her outfits in real life leave little to the imagination.

Amy Palmer, the founder and CEO of PowerwomenTV, told the outlet that Winter, much like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera during their time, was “trying to break free from her good girl image.”

“She’s been on television almost her entire life and has come of age in the advent of the Kardashians. She’s learned that the [more skin] you show, the more press coverage and attention you get in Hollywood. We’ve seen this before countless times. From Britney Spears to Christina Aguilera to Kim [Kardashian] and her sisters, she’s trying to break free from her good girl image to a sex symbol.”

Tell us! Do you think Ariel Winter has already moved on from Laurent Claude Gaudette? Is the Modern Family star going too far with her snaps? Sound off in the comments below.

[Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images]