Disney Sued Over Preschool Show
This has not been the best week for the Walt Disney Company. First off, Solo, despite good reviews and word of mouth, cratered at the box office. Secondly, they became mired in controversy when ABC fired Roseanne Barr and cancelled her show. This was due to a racist tweet of Barr’s, though they seemed to ignore her history of similar tweets when giving her the show.
Then, Disney was served a lawsuit by the production companies and producer of one of their preschool shows. The suit was filed on Thursday in Los Angeles by Milk Barn, Microseries and Jan Korbelin. ABC Cable Networks Group and Disney ABC Cable Networks Group are the defendants. It is a very strange case, with some very nasty accusations, if true. The plaintiffs also managed to wrangle in a reference to the whole Barr controversy in the filing.
Devious Corporate Plot or Sour Grapes?
The suit alleges that the show, Goldie and Bear, was a ratings hit, despite the actions of an executive who kept interfering with the show. But as season 1 was coming to an end, Disney cut ties with the production houses. Disney then went to another production company to do season 2. When they cut ties with the original companies, they allegedly violated the contract. The plaintiffs also allege that Disney then went out of their way to destroy their business and reputations. This includes luring away employees from one of the production houses to the new one. The other production company claims the corporate behemoth interfered with their contracts with other studios, “stripping it of millions in equipment and software that Microseries had paid for.”
The plaintiffs are asking for $20 million in restitution. They claim that “By destroying the two Plaintiff companies, Disney made it virtually impossible for those companies to ever be in the children’s television or feature business again.”
This is a very strange case. It could be a large corporation doing evil things, or the sour grapes of someone hiding the truth. As the suit reads: “The fact that this horrific conduct occurred with regard to the production of a children’s animated show casts a dark shadow on the character of the management of Disney.”
No trial or hearing date has been set. Word of the Nerd will keep an eye on this developing story.