Jennifer Lopez is being sued over claims she didn’t come up with the idea for World of Dance herself. On Tuesday afternoon, TMZ reported that a man is suing the actress for $6.5 million after she allegedly stole his idea for the dance competition series. It is so far unclear if the claims can be backed up.
The man, Alvin Gray-El, claimed this week that he originally pitched an idea for a very similar series called Let’s Start the Dance to choreographer Debbie Allen back in 2009. Gray allegedly faxed a letter about the idea over to Allen’s production company to see if they had any interest in it, but he never heard back.
Gray also claimed that he had the series registered with the United States Copyright Office in 2010. When he discovered that World of Dance was in the works at NBC with Lopez as the executive producer, Gray allegedly wrote a letter to the network to notify them of copyright infringement. He claimed to have never heard back from NBC, either.
Allen has no association with World of Dance, so it is unclear at this time how the idea would have gotten from the choreographer to Lopez. Regardless, Gray is reportedly also suing Allen and is seeking the revenue that he claims to have been denied. Gray is asking for $5 million in actual damages and $1.5 million in punitive damages, according to Page Six.
Sources close to Lopez explained this week that the idea for the series had been a concept at NBC for several years, but it was only pitched to Lopez in 2017. She reportedly did not come up with the idea herself. Representatives for the actress have not yet commented on the lawsuit.
World of Dance first aired in May 2017 with Lopez, Derek Hough, and Ne-Yo as judges. Contestants showcase their dancing skills in all styles, from ballroom to hip-hop and more, as the judges guide them to victory. All the while, the dancers share their inspirations and backstories as they form behind-the-scenes bonds and rivalries with fellow competitors.
Lopez is currently working on the set of her latest film, Hustlers, which is set for release in 2020. She has been shooting in New York City for the past two weeks alongside co-stars Constance Wu, Lili Reinhart, Cardi B, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Madeline Brewer, Trace Lysette, Mercedes Ruehl, Frank Whaley, and Tommy Hatto.
The singer also has a new single with French Montana called “Medicine,” which will be out later this week.