TBS Sued Over He's a Lady11/23/2004 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.