The creator and three other producers of hit zombie show The Walking Dead are suing AMC for up to $1 billion, claiming they’ve kept “the lion’s share” of profits made by the hit show.
The lawsuit was filed by creator Robert Kirkman and show producers Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert and Glen Mazzara, who say AMC have cheated them out of show profits through their vertically integrated corporate structure.
In the complaint filed on Monday at Los Angeles Superior Court, it reads: ‘This case arises from a major entertainment conglomerate’s failure to honor its contractual obligations to the creative people – the “talent,” in industry jargon – behind the wildly successful, and hugely profitable, long-running television series The Walking Dead.
‘The defendant AMC Entities exploited their vertically integrated corporate structure to combine both the production and the exhibition of TWD, which allowed AMC to keep the lion’s share of the series’ enormous profits for itself and not share it with the Plaintiffs, as required by their contracts.’
AMC have since responded to the lawsuit in a statement, which strongly denies the allegations and labels them ‘baseless’ and ‘predictably opportunistic’.
The statement reads: ‘These kinds of lawsuits are fairly common in entertainment and they all have one thing in common – they follow success. Virtually every studio that has had a successful show has been a target of litigation like this, and The Walking Dead has been the No.1 show on television for five years in a row, so this is no surprise.
‘We have enormous respect and appreciation for these plaintiffs, and we will continue to work with them as partners, even as we vigorously defend against this baseless and predictably opportunistic lawsuit.’
Season eight of The Walking Dead will premiere in the UK on October 23 on Fox – the show will start the night before over in America on AMC.
Like previous seasons, the season eight of the Walking Dead will consist of 16 episodes, and will air in two parts.
The first eight will run from October 23, before concluding with the final eight from February 2018.