Lee Daniels Companys Are Being Sued For Not Paying Performers Union

Will SAG-AFTRA Win The Lawsuit?
BHR Hollywood Reports........The “Empire” co-creator’s companies are being sued by the performers union SAG-AFTRA for allegedly failing to pay more than $335,000 in residuals to performers who worked on his 2005 film Shadowboxer.

The complaint, filed Tuesday in a Los Angeles federal court, named Shadowboxer LLC and Lee Daniels Entertainment as defendants.


Lee Daniels
Fox’s lawsuit claims that Empire Distribution never received a federal trademark on the name Empire, and that the company was denied the right to use “Empire Distribution” for non-electronic music recordings.

 (Their registration for the name, which includes electronic music recordings, is still pending.)

 Fox also claims that confusion between the companies is unlikely, since Empire Distribution is nowhere near as well-known at this point, with a Google search of “empire record label” apparently not showing their website until users have looked through seven pages of results that are full of Empire links. 
Empire Cast

It’s unclear at this point what side of things a court will land on, considering Empire has already produced a Billboard-topping soundtrack album.

 That point would seem to further complicate matters for those who can’t read “from Season 1 of Empire,” thus easily understanding that this is from a TV show. 

Daniels directed and was a producer on “Shadowboxer,” which grossed around $500,000 at the box office.

He went on to direct “Precious,” “The Paperboy” and “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” and is the co-creator and executive producer of “Empire.”

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