As the sun sets on one of AMC’s most profitable franchises, it’s time for yet another lawsuit over those aforementioned profits. Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Charles Eglee and Glenn Mazzara are once again suing AMC. The Walking Dead producers, as well as show creator Frank Darabont, have previously sued the network for allegedly abusing their vertical integration. Rather than license the show out to a different network, which would entitle the producers to a greater share of the profits, the suits claim AMC Studios chose to offer a reduced licensing fee to AMC Networks. Frank Darabont sued AMC over this issue in 2013, and the other Walking Dead producers sued in 2017. A judge ruled in favor of AMC against the producers in 2020. The producers revised their lawsuit in 2021, and a judge dismissed most of their case in April of this year, according to Variety. But AMC Networks settled with Darabont last year for $200 million. So the producers are asking: why Darabont and not them?
“Plaintiffs were forced to file this lawsuit as a result of AMC’s two faced treatment of their right to participate in the historic success of The Walking Dead,” their statement reads. “On the one hand AMC tells them they are entitled to nothing based on erroneous pre-trial rulings which are subject to appeal, while AMC paid $200 million to Frank Darabont and CAA to avoid a New York jury’s review of the exact same contingent compensation definition. Instead of giving Plaintiffs the benefit of the Darabont settlement as required by the express terms of their contracts, AMC’s creative activity these days seems limited to figuring out new ways to mistreat the talent that is responsible for its now past success.” A lawyer for AMC networks said “This is just another crass money grab. We are confident it will fail, as their previous attempts have failed.”
The Walking Dead Producers Are Suing AMC Again
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