“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star says the studio declined her pitch, but then six months later debuted a talk show eerily similar to her concept.
Former The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Tatyana Ali is suing Warner Brothers, saying they stole her idea for the daytime talk show The Real.
In late 2012, Ali pitched the concept of a daytime talk show with female celebrity hosts in their 20s and 30s “designed to pique the interest of the younger side of the mid-life/mid-career female population and featured a variety of contemporary discussion topics in a relaxed and informal setting,” says the suit her lawyers filed on Friday in the Los Angeles Superior Court. She was later told by execs that they “decided to decline” on her idea, meanwhileThe Real debuted about six months later as a test run with hosts Adrienne Bailon, Tamar Braxton(who was fired this year), Loni Love, Jeannie Mai and Tamara Mowry.
According to Ali’s suit, the women are eerily similar to the hosts she pitched.
“The five female host panel cast members very closely embody and mirror the personal and professional profiles of the specific and potential female celebrity hosts openly proposed in writing and in discussion by the Plaintiff during ‘pitch’ meetings she held with the Executives,” the suit says.
According to Deadline, the execs in attendance at their December 2012 meeting were Hilary Estes McLoughlin, then-president of creative affairs at CBS Television Distribution, and Sheila Bouttier, who was SVP Development at Telepictures Productions. Both McLoughlin and Bouttier were named as defendants along with Warner Bros Entertainment, Warner Bros Domestic Television Distribution and Telepictures.
Ali is seeking unspecified damages to be compensated for idea that she was never given credit for. She is also asking for “designated percentages of the proceeds resulting from past, current and future production and airing of The Real television program,” the lawsuit noted.
Warner Brothers has yet to release an official statement about this pending lawsuit.
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