November 20, 2014
Frank Sivero has sued the creators of ‘The Simpsons’ for creating a character he claims bears a likeness to him.
Sivero alleged that Louie from ‘The Simpsons’ bears an uncanny resemblance to Frankie Carbone, a member of the mafia in ‘Goodfellas’. If Sivero is successful, the creators of ‘The Simpsons’ could have to fork out $285 million in compensation.
Sivero claims that Carbone is a character entirely of his own. He submits that ‘The Simpsons’ producers have type casted him and this therefore has resulted in a loss of likeness for his character. While this may be true, Sivero has not actually acted in a film in several years. In fact, litigation seems to be his primary source of income these days. Recently, he sued a deli for creating a ‘Frankie Carbone’ sandwich without his permission.
Further, Sivero states that he lived next door to the producers, and was promised a movie deal. He claims they knew of the Frank Carbone actor when writing the Simpsons script! Or, perhaps Sivero has sat on the couch watching ‘The Simpsons’ for years, just waiting for the episodes he featured in to maximise. Now that the potential compensation is at its highest, Sivero is asking for protection his intellectual property rights. As patient and opportunistic as Sivero may be, it seems there may a case to answer by the Simpsons creators.
If it does not work out, maybe he will sue the producers for ‘breach of expectation of contract’. Either way, I would expect Hollywood has learned its lesson and I would not expect to see a show involve a character with any trait similar to one of Frankie Carbone in the future!
Read More here.
By Charlotte Sutcliffe
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