Lucasfilm Sued for ‘Egregious’ Firing of Producer on ‘Star Wars’ Series ‘The Acolyte’
Lucasfilm, the production company home to all things “Star Wars,” has been hit with a wrongful termination lawsuit from “Ballers” executive producer Karyn McCarthy, who was axed from the Disney+ series “The Acolyte” after just a few weeks of work.
According to a complaint obtained by Variety, “As a result of its bad faith and wrongful termination, Defendants deprived Ms. McCarthy significant employment, from which she would have earned millions of dollars over the [life] of the series.”
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Two weeks after Lucasfilm and McCarthy apparently settled on a “broad strokes” agreement, “without explanation, without reason, without justification, Lucasfilm told McCarthy it wanted out of the deal,” per the complaint.
McCarthy claims that boarding “The Acolyte” prevented her from taking on a “lucrative executive producer” position on the Apple series “Sugar.” According to her agent David Morris, this deal would have made McCarthy the “highest paid producer at Apple.”
But by the time McCarthy was fired from “The Acolyte,” the Apple offer was no longer on the table, leaving McCarthy with neither deal.
McCarthy’s counsel at Glaser Weil, which includes Patricia Glaser, Robert Allen and Matthew Bernstein, released the following statement: “For over 35 years, Karyn has hired thousands of people for several major studios on many high-profile projects. She knows when a deal is a deal. Throughout her entire career — from office assistant, location manager, unit production manager and eventually producer — she has prioritized fairness, kindness and human decency. Even after the bizarre and unfounded termination, Karyn approached Lucasfilm without a lawyer to get paid for what she was owed. Lucasfilm responded with lawyers and lies. Filing suit was the last resort.”
McCarthy claims that when she requested to be paid for her work on “The Acolyte,” Lucasfilm “denied that they even had an agreement, even though (1) they had made their offer containing all of the material deal points; (2) McCarthy accepted that offer; (3) Lucasfilm had McCarthy start right away; and (4) Lucasfilm sent to McCarthy a memorandum of agreement, memorializing the terms including that McCarthy had already commenced working.”
Per the complaint, “McCarthy is therefore forced to bring this action to hold Lucasfilm accountable for its egregious breach of their agreement, its bad faith denial of that agreement and for the statutory penalties McCarthy is entitled for its failure to pay her for her work.”
Furthermore, McCarthy demands to be credited as an EP on “The Acolyte,” as per her agreement with Lucasfilm and because “such credit greatly enhances McCarthy’s goodwill and ability to command higher future wages and more lucrative employment opportunities.”
Reached by Variety, Lucasfilm had no comment.
Deadline first reported news of the lawsuit.
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