Los Angeles California entertainment: Hannah Montana creators sue for $5M

Legal news for California entertainment attorneys. Two co-creators of Disney’s Hannah Montana sue the entertainment giant for unpaid profits.

California entertainment lawyers alert- Disney faces lawsuit over Hannah Montana compensation.

Los Angeles, CA—Two of the creators or the hit Disney Channel television show “Hannah Montana,” have filed a lawsuit against the network for over $5 million in profits resulting from the show. The suit, which was filed on Friday, April 9, 2010 in the Los Angeles Superior Court, asserts that the creators have been denied their fair share of the successful tween show, as reported by MSNBC.

The co-creators, Barry O’Brien and Richard Correll, created the highly profitable Miley Cyrus series with Michael Poryes in 2005. The plaintiff’s claim they are owned millions in pre-negotiated percentage-based bonuses as outlined in their back-end agreements and according to the Writers Guild of American mandates. The suit contends Disney has repeatedly denied requests for payment and “thwarted attempts to audit profits from the show.”

In addition to the unpaid profits, Correll claims he was wrongfully fired from the show, and has been “blackballed” from future directing jobs at Disney after he testified in connection with the arbitration. The lawsuit contends, “The real reason for Defendants’ termination and blackballing of Correll was Disney’s desire to retaliate” against him “for a) seeking compensation owing to Correll” and O’Brien and “b) their testimony against Disney in the WGA Arbitration.” The duo was apparently fighting with Disney in WGA arbitration about the studios obligations to them “under certain provision of the WGA Agreement with respect to the series.”

The suit names Walt Disney Pictures, ABC Cable Networks Group, Disney Channel, producers Bigwood Films, Fuss Budget Films, Silver Creek Pictures and It’s a Laugh Prods as the defendants.

Poryes also sued Disney for similar allegations in October 2008.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for California entertainment lawyers.

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