Robert Kirkman And Other Key Creators Involved In The Walking Dead File Lawsuit Against AMC; Network Issues Response

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Series creator Robert Kirkman and three other producers of The Walking Dead have accused AMC of breaching contract as part of a potentially billion-dollar lawsuit.

The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop, revealing that Kirkman has gained the backing of fellow executive producers Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, and Glen Mazzara – the latter of whom served as showrunner in light of Frank Darabont’s exit during the midst of TWD season 2 – in alleging that AMC has retained “the lion’s share” of profits, and is purportedly guilty of not distributing its revenue among creative people in a fair and just manner.

These allegations go on to claim that AMC is in violation of the California business code. As stated in Robert Kirkman’s contract with the network, he is to receive 5 percent of profits from the show, with 7.5 percent allotted to Hurd. Should AMC be found guilty of mishandling profits since The Walking Dead‘s first season, the damaged could amount to around $1 billion.

Here’s the complaint in full:

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 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.

Drawing comparisons to Frank Darabont’s own lawsuit against AMC – for the record, it’s still gestating and has since reached the summary judgment phase – the crux of these allegations revolve around the amount “paid by AMC Network to AMC’s studio arm for the right to air the show.”

In response to these claims, the network has released a statement deeming this lawsuit to be a “fairly common” occurrence in the entertainment industry, all the while assuring fans that the relationship between AMC and The Walking Dead‘s leading creative players won’t be sullied by what is undoubtedly a high-profile lawsuit.

Per THR:

These kinds of lawsuits are fairly common in entertainment and they all have one thing in common – they follow success… Virtually every studio that has had a successful show has been the target of litigation like this, and The Walking Dead has been the #1 show on television for five years in a row, so this is no surprise. We have enormous respect and appreciation for these plaintiffs, and we will continue to work with them as partners, even as we vigorously defend against this baseless and predictably opportunistic lawsuit.

The Walking Dead season 8, meanwhile, begins on October 22nd via AMC.

Source: THR

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