AMC can’t seem to stay out of legal trouble when it comes to the key creative players behind their massively popular The Walking Dead television series. The entertainment company was sued by the show’s former showrunner, Frank Darabont, in 2013. Darabont claimed AMC had used shady licensing fee practices to shortchange him. While that lawsuit is nearing the conclusion of its three-year odyssey, now it seems that the old complaint has risen from the grave.
A new, separate lawsuit filed by The Walking Dead franchise creator Robert Kirkman and television producers Gale Anne Hurd, Glen Mazzara, Charles Eglee and David Alpert claims that AMC did not honor its contractual obligations to properly payout its creative team. Succinctly, Kirkman and his fellow claimants say AMC has shortchanged them, too.
"This case arises from a major entertainment conglomerate’s failure to honor its contractual obligations to the creative people -- the 'talent,' in industry jargon -- behind the wildly successful, and hugely profitable, long-running television series The Walking Dead," the complaint reads. "The defendant AMC Entities exploited their vertically-integrated corporate structure to combine both the production and the exhibition of TWD, which allowed AMC to keep the lion’s share of the series’ enormous profits for itself and not share it with the Plaintiffs, as required by their contracts."
The lawsuit echoes Darabont’s original claim, that the amount he was paid per episode was lower than what AMC originally agreed to, and that some of that money isn't showing up in the company's revenue reports. While Darabont is demanding $280 million in damages, the claimants in the current case have yet to state the amount they are seeking. If the amount comes close to what Darabont is looking to collect, though, that number, divided across four people, could eventually lead to the entertainment company paying out over $1 billion dollars in damages stemming solely from The Walking Dead lawsuits.
(via Hollywood Reporter)