Carol Burnett Files Lawsuit Against 20th Century Fox Television
By Jim Benson -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/16/2007 12:14:00 PM
It’s Stewie vs. Charwoman.
Carol Burnett has filed a $2 million copyright infringement lawsuit against 20th Century Fox Television, alleging the studio never had her permission to include her cleaning woman character Charwoman as a porn shop maid in an April 2006 episode of the animated Family Guy.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Burnett filed suit in U.S. District Court suit Thursday claiming the show used an "altered version" of her 1970s variety show’s theme music and had characters perform her signature ear tug.
In addition to copyright infringement, Burnett, 73, alleges that 20th violated her publicity rights.
The studio expressed surprise at what it said amounted to an 18-second scene.
"Family Guy, like The Carol Burnett Show, is famous for its pop culture parodies and satirical jabs at celebrities,” 20th said in a statement. “We are surprised that Ms. Burnett, who has made a career of spoofing others on television, would go so far as to sue Family Guy for a simple bit of comedy.”
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