Clark hears sour note
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/30/2001 7:00:00 PM
Dick Clark has filed a $10 million lawsuit against Recording Academy President Michael Greene, alleging that he bars artists who first appear on Dick Clark Productions' American Music Awards (AMA) from performing on The Grammys and that such a prohibition constitutes an "illegal restraint of trade and an unfair business practice."
The Recording Academy responded in a statement: "It clearly is the nature of the entertainment business to offer your audience something exclusive. We do nothing outside normal industry business practices."
In addition to compensatory and punitive damages, the suit asks for a preliminary injunction against the practice so that artists would be able to appear on both shows while the case is being adjudicated. The AMAs are scheduled to air Jan. 9 on ABC. The Grammys are on CBS Feb. 27.
Among other charges, Clark alleges that Greene persuaded Michael Jackson to break a date, and what Clark says was effectively an oral contract, to appear on the upcoming American Music Awards telecast. The suit alleges the pull-out will pull down ratings and affect potential sales of the show overseas.
Clark also said Greene was responsible for preventing pop diva Britney Spears from appearing on the AMAs. The suit, filed in California Superior Court, alleges Clark contacted Greene about the policy, which Clark called a blacklist, after the "Spears incident" and that Greene said the policy would be terminated.
ABC had no comment, but CBS was siding with Greene, pointing out that exclusivity is what helps it draw more than 2 billion viewers worldwide to the annual telecast.
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