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'Black-ish' Creator Kenya Barris and Producer Will Packer Accused of Stealing 'Girls Trip', Sued For Millions

Universal Pictures
By Ryan Naumann

“Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris and mega-producer Will Packer have been hit with a federal lawsuit accusing them of stealing the idea for the hit film “Girls Trip” starring Jada Pinkett and Tiffany Haddish.

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, a man named Milford Jeremy McDonald is suing Universal Pictures, Barris, Packer, Tracy Oliver and Malcolm D. Lee.

The script was written by Barris and Oliver and was directed by Lee. Lee also produced the film alongside Packer.

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Giphy | Girls Trip

In his lawsuit, McDonald claims to be the creator and owner of a song entitled “Girl’s Trip”.

He claims to have met a man who worked at Universal named Maani Edwards, who was in the business of “soliciting projects to be used in motion pictures.” Edwards was a vice-president at the time.

Giphy | Girls Trip

McDonald says, “Sometime in July 2009, Plaintiff and EDWARDS met and EDWARDS, and played some tracks for EDWARDS, among which was Girl’s Trip. EDWARDS expressed his excitement about Girl’s Trip and that he would be interested in using the song and the story of Girl’s Trip in a motion pictures [sic] and will contact Plaintiff to purchase the rights to Girl’s Trip.”

He claims to have not heard back about “Girl’s Trip”, and several years passed. McDonald says he became aware that Universal was releasing a film by the same name after July 21, 2017.

McDonald also claims there are “several similarities between the Movie and Plaintiff’s copyrighted work.” He does not list the similarities in the complaint.

He accuses the defendants of having access to his work via Edwards. The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages plus all profits made, which is hundreds of millions.

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