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Old 03-19-07, 11:39 PM   #1
nateman
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Comedienne Burnett sues 'Family Guy' Over Bad Joke

Comedienne Burnett sues 'Family Guy' Over Bad Joke

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from AOL.com
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Comedian Carol Burnett has filed a copyright infringement suit against the makers of Fox TV's cartoon sitcom 'Family Guy' over an episode poking fun at the performer and her variety show from the 1960s and '70s.
The lawsuit, filed on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, claims 'Family Guy' violated Burnett's exclusive rights to her name and likeness by depicting her signature cleaning-woman character in a segment last April without her consent.
The suit, which seeks at least $2 million in damages, also says the cartoon episode used a "slightly altered version" of the copyrighted musical theme to 'The Carol Burnett Show' without permission from the 73-year-old entertainer.
A spokesman for 20th Century Fox Television, which produces 'Family Guy,' said on Friday the suit was without merit and that references to Burnett and her show in an 18-second sequence of the cartoon amounted to parody. Watch the clip.
"'Family Guy,' like the 'Carol Burnett Show,' is famous for its pop culture parodies and satirical jabs at celebrities," the studio said in a statement. "We are surprised that Ms. Burnett, who has made a career of spoofing others on television, would go so far as to sue 'Family Guy'for a simple bit of comedy."
The episode in question refers to Burnett by name as working as a part-time janitor, and depicts her "charwoman" character -- complete with trademark blue bonnet and mop bucket -- cleaning the floor of a pornography shop, the suit says.
Another character then makes a vulgar reference to the signature ear tug used by Burnett at the close of her variety show each week, according to the lawsuit.
Burnett and her company have urged Fox to reedit the 'Family Guy' episode to remove any reference her, but the studio has so far refused, the suit said.
'The Carol Burnett Show,' combining comedy sketches and musical performances, aired on CBS from 1967 to 1978 and was one of the most popular shows on U.S. television in that era.
03-19-07 10:31 EDT

Last edited by nateman241; 03-19-07 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 03-20-07, 12:50 AM   #2
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I'm not a fan of either Burnett or Family Guy but sure does strike me as petty on Burnett's part. It's not like Family Guy is ripping off her character; it was a satirical depiction (at worst) and obviously so by using similar music. She needs to settle down and learn to laugh.
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Old 03-20-07, 12:50 AM   #3
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Wow. Talk about a suit w/o merit.
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Old 03-20-07, 01:18 AM   #4
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Doesn't the Family Guy pretty much satire everything?
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Old 03-20-07, 01:26 AM   #5
nateman
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Quote:
I'm not a fan of either Burnett or Family Guy but sure does strike me as petty on Burnett's part. It's not like Family Guy is ripping off her character; it was a satirical depiction (at worst) and obviously so by using similar music. She needs to settle down and learn to laugh.
im not a fan of either also,
i never found burnett that funny and family guy is a pretty awful show. I agree with you that its petty on burnett's part, was she bored one day and decided she wanted to sue?
she paroedied alot of shows, so talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
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Old 03-20-07, 01:28 AM   #6
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Clear case of "Eminem Syndrome".

Can't take it, but sure can dish it out.

She's either hard up for $$ or seriously lacking a sense of humor.
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Old 03-20-07, 01:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Comedienne Burnett sues 'Family Guy' Over Bad Joke
Wow, you can sue "Family Guy" for bad jokes?

I'm gonna be a billionaire!
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Old 03-20-07, 02:22 AM   #8
riley_dude
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Originally Posted by UAIOE
Clear case of "Eminem Syndrome".

Can't take it, but sure can dish it out.

She's either hard up for $$ or seriously lacking a sense of humor.
I totally agree. She must need the money and really surprised she can't take a joke!
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Old 03-20-07, 03:19 AM   #9
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She can sue, but I don't think the manatees will have any money to pay her if she wins.
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Old 03-20-07, 06:52 AM   #10
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I love Carol. Great show. I've never seen the episode in question. Most people wouldn't remember it anyway.
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Old 03-20-07, 07:18 AM   #11
Joe Molotov
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If you could sue Family Guy for ripping stuff off, they would have already been sued for eleventy jillion dollars.
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Old 03-20-07, 07:25 AM   #12
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I give the Borat "victims" better chances of winning their suits than Burnett has of winning this one.
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Old 03-20-07, 08:27 AM   #13
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I like both FG and the old Carol Burnett show, but it's a stupid lawsuit.

This suit reminds me of the time the Pillsbury Doughboy sued Al Pacino for tickling him.
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Old 03-20-07, 10:13 AM   #14
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Burnett and her company have urged Fox to reedit the 'Family Guy' episode to remove any reference her, but the studio has so far refused, the suit said.
Well, duh... Once the Family Guy producers capitulate to Burnett, they open the floodgates to the thousands of other parody targets they've had on the show over the years. And by removing the Burnett bit they'd have possibly set a precedent, after which all those other targets might actually have a legal ground to stand on to have their parody scenes removed.
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Old 03-20-07, 10:18 AM   #15
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Burnett may just be lawsuit happy. Years ago she successfully sued the National Enquirer for publishing a story about her being drunk in public. I could see some merit in that one, but not in the FG suit.
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Old 03-20-07, 10:42 AM   #16
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In a related story, Carol Burnett has just been sued by the estate of Vivien Leigh...

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Old 03-20-07, 10:49 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy517
She can sue, but I don't think the manatees will have any money to pay her if she wins.
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Old 03-20-07, 10:51 AM   #18
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Carol Burnett... a courtroom... $2 million... a vulgar reference to ear tugging... it's a perfect Family Guy joke!
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Old 03-20-07, 10:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fielding Mellish
In a related story, Carol Burnett has just been sued by the estate of Vivien Leigh...


sorry, but that skit is one of the funniest ever, I remember watching and practically upchucking my lungs from laughter.
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Old 03-20-07, 11:00 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fielding Mellish
In a related story, Carol Burnett has just been sued by the estate of Vivien Leigh...
Best response yet.

Hypocrite much, Carol?
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Old 03-20-07, 11:53 AM   #21
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I'm suing then! Oh Yeaahhhh!!!!

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Old 03-20-07, 06:52 PM   #22
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I hope this gets thrown out of court.
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Old 03-20-07, 07:12 PM   #23
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I'm not a fan of either (especially Family Guy which I can't stand to suffer through), but I agree with most here that this lawsuit is ridiculous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by magiccmom
Doesn't the Family Guy pretty much satire everything?
No, there's a difference between satire and just making fun of something or someone. Family Guy just attempts to make fun, and they do so poorly in my opinion. Buy hey, there's clearly a lot of people out there who like it for some reason. It takes all kinds I suppose.
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Old 03-20-07, 07:27 PM   #24
big whoppa
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Maybe it was the pornography shop and vulgar ear-tugging reference that bothered Carol.
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Old 03-20-07, 08:10 PM   #25
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Aye that doesnt seem in Carol's character but maybe it was porno backdrop that did it, typical crappy taste of this sitcom.
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