Frank Darabont, the creator, developer, and former show runner for AMC’s The Walking Dead is biting the hand that stopped feeding him, suing the network for profits in a breach of contract lawsuit.
“The within action arises out of the unabated effort of a television conglomerate to deprive Frank Darabont — the artist who created, wrote, directed, and produced the television series ‘The Walking Dead’ — of his contractual entitlement to profits from the series,” the document reads.
The suit alleges that the man responsible for The Walking Dead jumping (walking, staggering?) from comic book page to your television screen was deprived of “tens of millions” of dollars, as was his representative at Creative Artists Agency. It contends that AMC is working the books, charging an “artificially low” rate to air the show on its own affiliate networks, therefore shortchanging profit participants like Darabont, whose contract is with the affiliate that produces the show. It invokes the the difference between the fee AMC charged its own company for each Walking Dead episode compared to that paid to a third party for Mad Men, calling it “improper and abusive practice of ‘self-dealing.'”
It’s not the first kerfluffle involving the former Walking Dead showrunner; he was summarily dismissed after the first season, as was his replacement, Glenn Mazzara, later on. The suit claims Darabont—also known for directing and adapting The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile—is owed an executive producer’s credit for The Walking Dead Season Two and that his firing was a breach of contract. He contends he was fired unjustly after turning in all the episodes on time as an effort to avoid paying him greater compensation.
AMC has yet to comment on Darabont’s Walking Dead lawsuit. But that stop didn’t Kurt Sutter, creator of FX’s Sons of Anarchy outlaw motorcycle drama, from chiming in on the subject in a fashion unfit for quoting here. Check out Sutter’s thoughts at his Twitter account, @SutterInk.
What do you think about Frank Darabont’s lawsuit with AMC over The Walking Dead? Does Frank deserve his EP credit for Walking Dead Season Two? What did you think of the Walking Dead mid-season finale?