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TBS Sued Over He's a Lady

11/23/2004 7:28 AM Eastern

TBS reality show He’s a Lady is the subject of a lawsuit.

Freund & Brackey LLP filed suit Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Turner Broadcasting System Inc. and Evolution Film & Tape Inc., claiming that the idea for He’s a Lady was taken from Freund & Brackey transgender reality series Sex Change.

The suit seeks a jury trial and compensation of $3 million -- $1 million for each of three complaints of copyright infringement, breach of implied-in-fact contract and unfair competition.

According to the lawsuit, TBS and Evolution -- which shared an agent with plaintiffs John Phillips and Derek Gerard -- had access to their 20-page treatment for Sex Change and "intentionally and knowingly" infringed upon its copyright by developing it into He's a Lady without their participation.

According to the suit, He's a Lady is substantially similar to Sex Change in its "plot, themes, dialogue, mood, setting, pace, characters and sequence of events."

Both reality series are about a group of male contestants who believe they are in a competition to be named "All-American Man."

It is soon revealed, however, that they are actually going to look and act like women and compete for a monetary prize -- living together in a "doll house," performing stereotypical female tasks and being assessed by a panel of judges -- wrapping up with a beauty-pageant competition.

"It's clear from the sequence of events that Evolution and TBS shamelessly developed He's a Lady from Sex Change and, at this point, we can only look toward a court victory to let the world know the origin of this show," Phillips said in a prepared statement.

"Not only did they steal an original television idea, they stole part of my life," he added.

 

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