Simon Fuller Sues FOX Over X Factor Fees!

Rhu Rho! Simon Fuller isn’t happy! He’s SUING FOX claiming he should be paid a high fee for the upcoming Simon Cowell competion reality show, X Factor!

Read more at THR

According to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Fuller negotiated a hefty executive producer fee and credit on X-Factor as part of a settlement of a 2004 copyright infringement lawsuit against Cowell when X-Factor launched in the UK. Fox, which airs Idol and will debut X-Factor in September, and Fremantle North America, which produces both shows, are now refusing to honor that deal, according to the suit.

“Fox and Fremantle made hundreds of millions of dollars thanks to the creative efforts of Fuller,” the suit states. “Now, when it is time to finally perform on these unequivocal promises, Fox and Fremantle refuse to provide Fuller his executive producer credit for Defendants’ new television show, The X Factor, and refuse to pay Fuller and executive producer fee ‘commesurate with his duties and stature in the entertainment industry.’ Defendants refusal to honor their promises made to Fuller is particularly malicious given that but for Fuller’s agreement, the X Factor show would not be able to broadcast in the United States at all.”

“Fox, and ultimately its parent company, News Corporation, have demonstrated a callous disregard for Fuller’s rights which, given recent developments, reflects a corporate culture–if not a pattern and practice–of wrongful behavior,” the complaint states.

This bad blood traces all the way back to 2004, when Fuller sued Simon Cowell claiming the Idol judge ripped off his show.  The parties settled in 2005, giving Fuller a producing credit on X Factor.  Cowell, in turn, agreed not to launch X Factor in America while under contract to Idol.

Fuller seemed satisfied with the arrangement. Until now.

Pull out your lawn chairs and grab your popcorn folks!  This is gonna get good.

ETA: Statements from FOX and Fuller: VIA The Wrap

FOX: “Mr. Fuller has not been hired, nor performed any duties, on the U.S. version of ‘The X Factor.’ His suit seeks payment and credit as an executive producer despite his neither having been approved by the required parties, nor hired, as such. We believe this lawsuit is without merit and we expect to prevail.”

Rep for Fuller said in a statement that Fuller “has prudently attempted to settle this matter privately but the other parties have refused to honor the original contract, leaving him no other choice but to pursue legal action.”

  • tripp_ncwy

    Pull out your lawn chairs and grab your popcorn folks!

    I would like exta butter on my popcorn. :D

  • Pam

    I would like exta butter on my popcorn.

    Along with a diet coke please. :D

    All I can say to this is OUCH! This is big news for sure. It will be interesting to see how this affects this show.

  • Kirsten

    Pull out your lawn chairs and grab your popcorn folks!

    You’re going to need a bigger bowl.

    Transcript of Cowell meeting with Fox execs on the subject of Fuller:

    Y’all know me. Know how I earn a livin’. I’ll catch this bird for you, but it ain’t gonna be easy. Bad fish. Not like going down the pond chasin’ bluegills and tommycods. This shark, swallow you whole. Little shakin’, little tenderizin’, an’ down you go. And we gotta do it quick, that’ll bring back your viewers, put all your businesses on a payin’ basis. But it’s not gonna be pleasant. I value my neck a lot more than 35 million bucks, chief. I’ll find him for 35, but I’ll catch him, and silence him, for 100 million. But you’ve gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don’t want no volunteers, I don’t want no mates, there’s just too many captains on this island. $100 million for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing.

  • Nina1

    Nice timing, Fuller. Fox settles a lot, I read.

  • jeffreythegleek

    Kirsten, may I call you Quint? (Jaws fans will get the reference)
    Perhaps Fox believes the 2005 settlement pertains to the British X Factor and not the American one? Isn’t there one in Australia? Does Fuller make money off of that one? I expect the entertainment blogs to enjoy this for a few days then lose interest. Not as intersting as JLo and Marc Anthony splitting up.

  • harvestmoon

    Kirsten, I think you’ve just prompted me to head out to the video store to rent Jaws. That’s a great scene!

    The timing of this is very interesting. Not just because the debut of X-Factor is just around the corner, but because Idol’s contract with Fox runs out after this next season. Surely negotiations for renewal are in full swing? I can’t believe Fuller is running the risk of pissing Fox off this much when he still needs to work with them. Maybe it’s all part of his renegotiation strategy.

  • koshka

    Then it amazes me that they cut the pay for the idols on tour, when it is just a drop in the bucket compared to what they pay these big wigs.

  • Elliegrll

    The timing of this is very interesting. Not just because the debut of X-Factor is just around the corner, but because Idol’s contract with Fox runs out after this next season. Surely negotiations for renewal are in full swing? I can’t believe Fuller is running the risk of pissing Fox off this much when he still needs to work with them. Maybe it’s all part of his renegotiation strategy.

    He left Sony for the biggest major label in the country, so I think that every single network would be willing to air the show, if things don’t work out with Fox. I expect that both parties will find a way to keep AI on the network.

  • Buffynut

    Ha, ha! I love this! The War of the Roses has nothing on the war of the Simons!! LOL!

  • yaddabing

    Seeing how only Fox and Fremantle is listed, this seems like a negotiation tactic to me. Negotiations have been going on for over a year and probably have been put on the back burner for X Factor.

    If XF becomes even a Voice-sized success, Simon/19 might not be able to negotiate higher licensing and royalty fees. He probably wants to sign a deal before XF hits the air.

  • gangreen29

    If XF becomes even a Voice-sized success, Simon/19 might not be able to negotiate higher licensing and royalty fees. He probably wants to sign a deal before XF hits the air.

    You mean a show with half the ratings of idol? I think in that case Simon Fuller will be in good position I think.

  • allstar

    As always…the American way: use the legal system to try to eliminate competition in the marketplace.

  • allstar

    Voice-sized success

    Is this like a synonym of the phrase “minimal success”? Talk about an awful TV show. No talent, horrible format.

  • Elliegrll

    You mean a show with half the ratings of idol? I think in that case Simon Fuller will be in good position I think.

    Exactly. Drawing 10 to 12 million people is nice, so scoring in the 4′s in the demo, but that’s a far cry from AI’s numbers. If it is still the number one show on the air, then that puts Simon Fuller in the driver’s seat.

  • TwigLA

    I’m pulling for Fuller.

  • Tony

    test

  • tripp_ncwy

    I wonder if Fuller would have an outside chance to derail the premier of X-Factor since it was only because of the settlement the show is allowed to come to the US.?