‘The Walking Dead’ Is Being Sued by Ex-Showrunner Frank Darabont (Again)
The Walking Dead just can’t catch a break. Just days after renewing its flagship hit for Season 9, AMC has been hit with yet another profit-sharing lawsuit from series creator and former showrunner Frank Darabont, atop a recent lawsuit from other producers and showrunners.
It goes like this: Frank Darabont first sued AMC in 2013, accusing the network of creative accounting and faulty-profit sharing worth $280 million in damages. This past August saw creators Robert Kirkman, Gale Ann Hurd, David Alpert and Glen Mazzara all alleging similar profit-scheming. Now that Darabont and his team have audited the documents from Kirkman’s lawsuit, an additional suit has been filed claiming “it is now clear that AMC’s wrongful conduct extends well beyond artificially deflated license fees,” as well that “AMC has used a variety of shady accounting practices … to withhold tens of millions more” (h/t The Hollywood Reporter).
The claim also states that AMC has only reported 20% of revenue from iTunes sales of the series, overcharged distribution fees with Fox’s international and home video markets, and hasn’t accounted for product integration fees. In short, Darabont claims that AMC “breached the contract as well as the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing,” and redacted the “self-dealing” clauses of Kirkman’s contract that Darabont sought in discovery, and sued over in the first place. AMC has since issued an aggressive response to the new lawsuit:
At the heart of this lawsuit – and all the litigation related to ‘The Walking Dead’ – is the greed of CAA. Their goal is every dollar for themselves, with total disregard for contracts, clients, fairness or even basic decency. AMC was the only network willing to take a risk on ‘The Walking Dead,’ after many others passed. AMC has been an honest steward of the series and has paid all of its creative partners handsomely and appropriately. This is just another opportunistic lawsuit orchestrated by the most powerful lawyers and Hollywood agents seeking an unjustified windfall and we are confident that it will be defeated in court.
Ouch. Either way, The Walking Dead’s future remains assured with Season 9 under new showrunner Angela Yang, but even the walkers might be tightening their belts before long.
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