Just how many people will claim that Hannah Montana
was their brainchild? There's another writer who filed a lawsuit against Disney, who's been saying that he penned a script similar to the sensational show making headlines today. Richard Fronduto brought his concerns to the L.A. County Superior Court last Wednesday, demanding the right to be credited on the series.
Fronduto asserted that he came up with the inspiration for the story of a girl with a double life back in 1990, calling it “The Secret Life of Sindy.” It was later renamed to “The Family Business” and held a striking likeness to what is now Hannah Montana.
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He went on to explain that his agent pitched the idea to Disney and even received a favorable reply involving a two-hour pilot order. Even so, Fronduto and the company never settled on anything back then, but released Hannah Montana
Fronduto's alleged work and the hit series share more than just the premise. There's also the idea of a single parent acting as the star's manager, as well as having two of the character's best friends aware of her secret.
The lawsuit also involves Fronduto asking for a “Created by” credit in all future publications and broadcasts of the series, as well as financial compensation for unspecified damages caused. The plaintiff's attorney, Jerome L. Ringler, talked to E! News
about the situation. “Mr. Fronduto continues to press his claims against Disney for appropriating his work without payment or credit,” he said.
“At no time did Disney provide him credit or compensation, all of which are due him under the terms of the Writers Guild of America contract which Disney has signed.”
While Disney hasn't responded to the charges yet, they might want to think about asking advice from ABC Cable Networks. Back in 2007, comedy writer Buddy Sheffield claimed that he created Hannah Montana
in 2001. The case was eventually dismissed when the network denied any wrongdoing.
-Maria Gonzalez, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: E! Online
(Image Courtesy of Disney)