‘This Is Spinal Tap’ Co-Creator Harry Shearer Files $125 Million Lawsuit For Unpaid Royalties
This Is Spinal Tap co-creator Harry Shearer, who played bassist Derek Smalls in the legendary mockumentary, has filed a $125 million lawsuit against French media group Vivendi for unpaid royalties.
Since the film’s release in 1984, This Is Spinal Tap has become a cult classic unlike any other in the rock and metal world. The comedy has seen two theatrical releases, distribution on almost every home video format and has produced a prolific line of merch. Spinal Tap as a band has also released three full-length albums, all of which have cracked the Billboard 200 chart.
Despite the obvious success of Spinal Tap’s endeavors, the creators and band members have reportedly received next to no royalties from Vivendi, which acquired the rights to This Is Spinal Tap in 1989. According to Harry Shearer, the film’s four creators were paid a total of $98 between 1989-2006 for soundtrack sales and just $81 in merchandising royalties from 1984-2006.
Shearer, who has enjoyed a prosperous career on The Simpsons, spoke about the lawsuit in a clip posted via Twitter:
"I am just one person seeking redress for blatant injustice, but I hope this lawsuit will, in its own way, help set a new precedent for faithful and transparent accounting practices, and fair artistic compensation, industry-wide,” Shearer claims.
Stay tuned for further developments on this story as news breaks.
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