Things aren’t looking good for AMC as creator Robert Kirkman has filed a lawsuit in regards to The Walking Dead TV series.
THR reports Robert Kirkman is joined by fellow producers Gale Anne Hurd, Glen Mazzara and David Alper in filing a lawsuit about AMC cheating them over money due for The Walking Dead.
The report mentions the potential damages could reach a staggering billion dollars, and this lawsuit is on top of The Walking Dead Season 1 showrunner Frank Darabont’s own lawsuit that alleges AMC owes him $280 million. Darabont was fired half way through Season 2 and is now suing alleging he was denied rightful profit participation (read more here).
Regarding Kirkman’s lawsuit, the complaint opens with (the full complaint can be read here):
“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.”
The gist of the problem seems to be licensing fees and the issue that AMC is paying fees in-house to another arm of its company, which basically means no money really changes hands. It’s alleged AMC is charging a lot of fees to itself for The Walking Dead, which takes money away from the producers (among other things).
AMC responded in the report as follows:
“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 No. 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 7 premiers Sunday, October 22nd at 9pm ET starring Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Chandler Riggs, Sonequa Martin-Green, Michael Cudlitz, Josh McDermitt, Ross Marquand, Christian Serratos, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.