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Original “Muppet Babies” Writer Sues Disney in Copyright and Fraud Suit

Things in the Muppet Babies nursery are getting a bit complicated. According to a report filed by Deadline, long-time television writer Jeffrey Scott is suing Disney for alleged copyright and fraud surrounding the 2018 Muppet Babies reboot.

Scott, who worked on the original 1980s incarnation of Muppet Babies, claims that he owns the copyright to the production “bible” on which the new, computer-animated series is based.

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The original animated series was produced by The Jim Henson Company and Marvel Productions. Scott claims a verbal deal he made with the two companies gave him the copyright to the Muppet Babies.

When Disney decided to reboot Muppet Babies, the company allegedly reached out to Scott for ideas in 2015. Scott’s claim also states that Disney agreed to compensate him for his ideas, per his previous understanding with Henson and Marvel.

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With the new Muppet Babies now airing, Scott believes he is due financial damages, access to series profit information, and a production credit. Named in the suit are Disney television executives Joe D’Ambrosia and Alyssa Cooper Sapire.

In addition to Muppet Babies, Scott has also worked on animated series such as Super Friends, Spider-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Dragon Tales.

WDWNT.com will continue to follow this lawsuit; check back for updates.

Do you think Jeffrey Scott has a case? Use the comments to add your thoughts.

  1. He has no case. Verbal agreements might be technically legally binding in some areas, but that is useless. If you want to be considered as an owner of anything and have any value, you need it in writing, with witnesses and signatures. Just saying “oh, well, so and so said I own all those ideas” and expecting it to be enforceable is absurdity at its peak.

  2. Entertainment lawyer here. There is no way anyone at Henson or Marvel agreed to let him have the copyright. It just isn’t done, and these are very sophisticated companies.

    Oral agreement? Not likely. and if there was such a discussion it’s colossally reckless NOT to have gotten it in writing, for both sides.

    I’m betting this case is over quickly. Likely thrown out on an early motion to dismiss.

  3. Verbal deal? Good luck with that in court.

    Oh yeah, George Lucas and I had a “verbal deal” for me to have lifetime 5% profits on anything Star Wars related. Guess I should sue Disney too and see what happens.

  4. One thing I’ve learned in my time in Orlando: If its not in writing, don’t expect Disney to abide by it. If it is in writing, don’t expect Disney to abide by it either.

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