EXCLUSIVE: Will Smith – Sued For $15 Million by Screenwriter Accusing Actor of Fraud And Stealing His Show Idea for “Blackish”
The Dirty has learned Will Smith has been slapped with a $15 million dollar lawsuit accusing him of fraud … with a screenwriter saying he entered his script into a contest run by the actor … only to have his idea stolen and turned into the hit show “Blackish”.
A writer named David Lloyd Marcus sued ABC Studios, producer Kenya Barris, Will Smith and the actor’s company Overbrook Entertainment seeking $15 million dollars accusing them of fraud & demanding an injunction.
He explains back in 2013, Will Smith’s production company ran a script writing contest called “Search for America’s Newest Screenwriter”. Marcus entered his script entitled, “Across The Tracks”, which humorously looked at the lives and experiences of an upwardly mobile middle class African American family.
Marcus never heard back from the company and the contest was won by another writer. However, he points out that the winner’s show was never turned into a pilot or television show.
The screenwriter is accusing Will Smith and his partners of never intending to develop the contest winner’s script but rather to acquire new and fresh ideas from creative young writers such as himself, and develop such ideas without paying any of the contestants.
He reached this conclusion after he learned about an ABC show named “Blackish” back in 2014. The show is produced by Kenya Barris, who is a close business associate and friend of Will Smith.
Once he watched the pilot of Blackish, he was shocked to realize everything from characters, thematic points and plot turns were identical from his script. He points out the show was put into development at ABC less than 6 months after he submitted his script to the contest. The writer is seeking in excess of $15 million dollars along with an injunction against Blackish from continuing to be aired unless he is listed as the creator on the credits.