Just as Quinta Brunson, ABC network, and her team are still enjoying the success of their hit show, “Abbott Elementary” — which snagged a whopping seven nominations for the 2022 Emmy awards — they have been hit with a lawsuit.
Brunson and ABC recently found themselves in hot waters after they were accused of stealing the idea of the beloved sitcom from a writer and actress named Christine Davis.
Quinta Brunson & ABC Sued Over ‘Abbott Elementary’
According to The Wrap, Brunson and the network were slammed with a copyright infringement lawsuit days after the Emmy nominations were announced.
Davis in the lawsuit claimed that “Abbott Elementary” is a “knock-off” of her own show, “This School Year” which she registered in the copyright office in 2020, a year before Brunson’s show came out.
Davis claimed that Brunson and ABC used the premise of her own show to create theirs, noting that both shows are “striking and substantially similar,” having the same “look and feel of the inner-city school, the mockumentary style, unique plot synopsis, set design and unique characters.”
The lawsuit adds that the main character of the younger teacher in both shows have “roles [that] are nearly identical in type” and such is the case for the older main characters.
In fact, Davis alleges that her show was copied down to the plots of the opening episodes where the school’s principal takes advantage of the central character by taking funds for her rug.
The script of “This School Year” was reportedly written way back in 2018, with Davis shopping the script to Shavon Sullivan Wright and Cherisse Parks at Blue Parks Productions in Los Angeles around mid-June and July of 2020.
She reportedly had three meetings with the Production company regarding “This School Year” and the producers showed her script to Hulu & ABC after hearing they were looking for “Black, female-led comedies.”
She allegedly received notes on her script but to her surprise, months later filming for “Abbott Elementary” started. Per reports, Sullivan and Parks have no connection to Brunson’s show.
Davis is seeking an unspecified amount in damages, demanding that “Brunson and ABC turn over all profits they made from the show.” She also wants a jury trial.
Brunson and ABC are yet to publicly comment on the lawsuit with the actress telling fans yesterday via Twitter that production for season two of “Abbott Elementary” began on July 18.
‘Abbott Elementary’ Earns Seven Emmy Nods
The timing of the lawsuit sure raises eyebrows as just last week, “Abbott Elementary” earned seven Emmy nominations to the delight of fans. Below are some of the nominations:
BEST COMEDY SERIES
Abbott Elementary (ABC)
Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
Hacks (HBO Max)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)
Ted Lasso (Apple)
What We Do in the Shadows (FX)
BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Quinta Brunson (Abbott Elementary)
Kaley Cuoco (The Flight Attendant)
Elle Fanning (The Great)
Issa Rae (Insecure)
Jean Smart (Hacks)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Hannah Einbinder (Hacks)
Janelle James (Abbott Elementary)
Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live)
Sarah Niles (Ted Lasso)
Sheryl Lee Ralph (Abbott Elementary)
Juno Temple (Ted Lasso)
Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso)
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BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Anthony Carrigan (Barry)
Brett Goldstein (Ted Lasso)
Toheeb Jimoh (Ted Lasso)
Nick Mohammed (Ted Lasso)
Tony Shalhoub (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Tyler James Williams (Abbott Elementary)
Henry Winkler (Barry)
Bowen Yang (Saturday Night Live)
The mockumentary-based sitcom was also nominated for Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.
Brunson snagged three out of the seven nominations earned by “Abbott Elementary” and as a result, made history. The Philadephia native became the first Black woman in history to earn three same-year nominations in the notable Comedy categories.
She also earned the title of the youngest Black woman ever nominated in the comedy acting category.
As The Blast reported, Brunson celebrated the impressive milestone and show’s success on Twitter, writing, “Crying shaking and throwing up has new meaning to me because I real life did all three. Still speechless. Congrats to the entire staff and cast of Abbott Elementary. And I want to share this moment with all of the people who watch and love the show. Emmy nominated, baby!”