The entertainment industry in Los Angeles is known for being cut throat and backstabbing, and it's not just the people on screen that portray these characteristics. Producers in Hollywood can also be at odds with each other, and a recent lawsuit shows just how devious those working in the industry can be.
A reality show producer has filed a $12 million lawsuit against Katalyst Media and Creative Artists Agency for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and other counts for stealing her reality show idea and ruining her reputation.
The producer claims that she came up with an idea for a reality show to feature DMV offices in California, and convinced the DMV to allow them to film in their offices for the show while she was a client of the CAA. The lawsuit says the CAA brought in Katalyst Media to work on the show. However, they stopped working with the plaintiff after they pitched the reality show to networks while she was on vacation.
The lawsuit also says they hired other staff to film and produce the show, which led to the DMV cancelling their involvement with the show after Katalyst leaked DMV employees' personal information during a casting call. After the DMV ended their involvement, Katalyst sued the CAA and received a settlement that was not shared with the plaintiff despite the fact that she came up with the idea for the show.
According to the lawsuit, the two agencies ruined the plaintiff's reputation after what happened with the DMV. The plaintiff also claims that this wasn't the only reality show that was ruined by the agencies, and that they have failed to pay her for her work on other projects.
This case is an example of the legal action individuals or businesses can take during a contract dispute or after allegations of a breach of contract. Working the entertainment industry is not easy, but there are legal options individuals can take to protect their reputation and the projects they have worked on.
Source: Entertainment Law Digest, "$12 Million Demand for Reality Show," Matt Reynolds, Sept. 24, 2013