TV producer Glen Larson, whose production company has created popular TV series such as “The Six Million Dollar Man,” Knight Rider,” “Magnum P.I.,” “Quincy, M.E.,” and “Battlestar Galactica,” has filed suit against Universal City Studios Productions, claiming the company's accounting methods reduced him to the equivalent of a “sharecropper.”
“Despite having been the engines that fueled the creation and rise of the MCA/Universal dynasty, all of the shows are, according to Universal, in deficit when it comes to profits due to Larson Productions,” he said in his complaint,” according to Courthouse News Service. “On the other hand, Universal has made hundreds of millions of dollars on the shows. Indeed, as the shows make more money for Universal, the deficit that Larson Productions must overcome continually increases. It’s Hollywood’s version of being a sharecropper.”
Larson claimed that Universal manipulated the accounting on the popular TV series to make it impossible for his production company to ever receive the proper compensation by charging “excessive and improper costs” and not applying the gross receipts in a timely manner so the interest would grow out of control. He also claimed that Universal only accounted for 20 percent of the gross receipts for sales of DVDs.
Universal responded to the lawsuit with a statement, according to Entertainment Weekly, “We are surprised that Mr. Larson has brought this lawsuit. Mr. Larson did not conduct any audit or otherwise notify Universal of any claim in advance of this filing.”
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