Following the first lawsuit, they filed against AMC, Frank Darabont and the Creative Artists Agency are filing a second lawsuit over shady accounting practices.
This new $10 million suit is on top of the initial $280 million case after an audit exposes the channel's alleged shady dealings. Meanwhile, the AMC responds with a dismissal that calls the lawsuit opportunistic and a matter of greed.
The First Case Pits Darabont and CAA Against AMC
The Walking Dead may be one of the biggest shows on television right now, especially that the midseason of Season 8 is coming up. However, there's a long and grueling dispute over it behind the scenes. It's not just the fan outrage over shocking deaths and characters stirring trouble on set.
The first case filed in 2013 handles different issues, but one of the most significant is AMC's self-dealing controversy, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Darabont, The Walking Dead co-creator and first executive producer, claims that his contract should give him a license fee that is equal to the market price that can reach up to $30 million per episode.
On the other hand, AMC argues that they have the right to dictate the license fee as long as it's not less favorable than other of the show's profit participants.
The different parties are still waiting for the judge's decision whether the case goes to trial or not. Other profit participants including Robert Kirkman, creator of the original TheWalking Dead graphic novels, have also filed a case against AMC following the Darabont suit. Back in 2014, AMC also had some trouble securing a contract with DirecTV.
The Plaintiffs File The Second Case After A Complete Audit
Darabont and CAA completed an audit of the cable channel's accounting records, which tipped them off to the alleged "shady accounting practices" of AMC. Since the original complaint cannot be altered anymore, the duo instead filed another case against the company.
"In addition to withholding hundreds of millions of dollars from the creators of the hit television series The Walking Dead through improper self-dealing, which is the subject of litigation between the parties currently pending in this court, AMC has used a variety of shady accounting practices, described below, to withhold tens of millions more," states the second complaint filed in the New York Supreme Court. "And, Plaintiffs recently learned that AMC attempted to hide evidence related to its self-dealing from Plaintiffs during discovery in the pending litigation."
The plaintiffs say that among the things revealed in the audit review are: reporting only 20 percent of The Walking Dead's iTunes sales revenue; charging too much in distribution fees; not accounting a number of product integration fees; submitting invoices that show only half of the number of certain expenses; and others.
However, the AMC party is not deterred, pointing instead to CAA's greed.
"At the heart of this lawsuit - and all the litigation related to The Walking Dead - is the greed of CAA," says a statement from AMC attorney Orin Snyder. "Their goal is every dollar for themselves, with total disregard for contracts, clients, fairness or even basic decency. ... AMC has been an honest steward of the series and has paid all of its creative partners handsomely and appropriately. This is just another opportunistic lawsuit orchestrated by the most powerful lawyers and Hollywood agents seeking an unjustified windfall and we are confident that it will be defeated in court."