Summary: Martial arts master Chuck Norris is suing CBS and Sony for $30 million.
Who would win a fight between Chuck Norris, CBS, and mega-studio Sony? In a Taekwondo battle, it’s safe to bet on Chuck Norris, but the legendary martial arts master is gearing up for another type of war.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Norris is suing Sony for $30 million because they allegedly cheated him out of at least $30 million in profits from his successful series “Walker, Texas Ranger.”
On Wednesday, Norris, through his company Top Kick Productions, sued CBS and Sony Pictures. He said that the network and studio were self-dealing and not paying Norris his share of streaming video-on-demand revenue.
In the lawsuit, Norris said that he was promised 23% of the profits of “Walker,” a TV series that began in 1993 and ran until 2001. Norris said the show was a hit because of his fame and image as a martial arts master.
“Chuck Norris’ life, image and brand are among the most positive and patriotic in the United States,” said the complaint. “Put bluntly, the public loves Chuck Norris, because there are few men left who honor country and family and served others and whose public values and ethics match the actual life that one has chosen to live.”
Norris is represented by attorney Scott Street, who said that the series has made $692 million in revenue to date.
“This 23 percent profit participation has been, and will continue to be, a valuable right, because Walker has been lucrative and popular in syndication, generating over $692 million in revenue to date,” the complaint stated. “But, on information and belief, as technology improved, the Defendants focused less on marketing Walker to television stations and DVD viewers and more on promoting the show on S-VOD services, some of which they owned or co-owned.”
Norris claimed that CBS has been engaging in creative accounting, not including streaming VOD revenue in the profit participation statements sent to his company since 2004. He added that Sony did not send statements at all.
Norris, through Top Kick, is suing for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Even though the show has not been on the air in years, Norris said that it is continuously popular because of his fandom.
Norris, 77, served in the United States Air Force before becoming a martial arts competitor. That led to his first action movie appearance in 1968 and a friendship with another action legend, Bruce Lee. Norris went on to become a huge action movie star, and he appeared in films such as “Way of the Dragon” and “Lone Wolf McQuade.”
In the 1990s, Norris transitioned from movies to television. “Walker, Texas Ranger” was a huge success, airing for eight seasons and finding a home in syndication.
- Richard Carpenter Sues for Unpaid Royalties
- Sylvester Stallone Battles Warner Brothers Over “Demolition Man” Royalties