Producer Gavin Polone has filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros and the CW Network, accusing them of using improper accounting practices, which have deprived him of his fair share of profits for the original “Gilmore Girls” series and its Netflix revival, “Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life”.
The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday and marks the fourth time in 16 years that Polone has disputed with the studio over residuals relating to the long-running comedy-drama series.
Polone, who served as executive producer on “Gilmore Girls” from 2000-2007, last sued Warner Bros in 2016, claiming he had a right to earnings from the recent Netflix revival. The studio argued that the Netflix show was not a continuation of the original series and therefore Polone should not be entitled to profits.
As with the previous disputes, both parties eventually settled the issue. However, Polone still feels that he is owed more.
Included in those improper accounting practices that reduced Polone’s residuals is a 10% SVOD distribution fee, which decreased profits by $2 million. The suit also claims the studio tacked on various unnecessary fees that further reduced profits.
“These expenses… falsely underrepresent the bottom line number that determines Plaintiffs’ profit participation payments, resulting in substantially lower profits paid to Plaintiffs,” the suit claims (as reported by Variety).
“This case is part of a long and troubling line of successful artists of all stripes being forced to seek recourse in court against a corporate producing partner that manipulates its back room accounting and distorts the interpretation of its contractual obligations,” the suit continues. “The victims of this oppressive behaviour are the artists who create the content those corporate producing partners exploit.”
Polone is also asking for an audit of the “Gilmore Girls” profits dating back to 2012.
Warner Bros. has not yet commented on the claim.