Mehcad Brooks was sanctioned $170,000 after he lost in arbitration over claims his agent took his idea for the show “Salem” and gave it to someone else.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Brooks filed an arbitration claim against Innovative Artists Talent and Literary Agency in 2016. Brooks cut ties with the agency for screenwriting projects in 2007 and ended their relationship for acting work in 2012.
Brooks claimed that in 2010, he sent an email outlining his idea and that he intended for Innovative and agent James Stein to pitch the show on his behalf. He claimed that Innovative and Stein then took his idea to another of their clients, Adam Simon, and assisted him in creating the show “Salem.”
During the arbitration trial, Stein testified that he and Innovative searched through thousands of emails, 12 volumes of call logs, and 20 spiral notebooks which Stein recorded client communications and actions … and none of them turned up any communication between Brooks and Stein or any other member of Innovative’s literary department.
Innovative claims there dozens of emails between Brooks and his manager, attorney, and various producers and production companies but none of those included Stein or any other member of Innovative’s literary department either.
Brooks was unable to produce a copy of the emails that would back up his claim, citing various computer crashes.
The “Supergirl” star also testified that he did not recall sending Stein or Innovative’s literary department any treatment, pilot outline, scene outline, scene sequence, script or any writing at all concerning the Salem project.
Brooks — who has also appeared on “Desperate Housewives” and “True Blood” — said that at the time he brought the action against Innovative, he did not know and only speculated that the show’s co-creator, Adam Simon, might have used Brooks’ idea or script to come up with show “Salem.”
For his part, Simon, who testified for a full day, claimed that he was never given or used any work by Brooks. He explained in detail about how he came up with the idea for the show, the research he did for the project, and the thousands of hours he spent and the multiple outlines, treatments, pitches, character boards, bibles and scripts he co-creator Brannon Braga wrote to bring the show to life.
It was also determined during the trial that while Brooks’ idea and the show “Salem” contained some similar ideas (mostly historical facts) the two projects had major and fundamental differences.
Brooks ultimately lost in arbitration and earlier this month, a judge sanctioned him to the tune of $170,550.97 for his repeated delays that caused excessive unnecessary expenses.
“Salem” premiered on WGN America on April 20, 2014 and was the network’s first original scripted series. It starred Janet Montgomery and Shane West and aired for three seasons before ultimately being canceled in 2017.