Quinta Brunson Demands Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Over ‘Abbott Elementary’ Be Dismissed
Quinta Brunson is demanding a lawsuit accusing her of stealing a writer’s idea for her hit sitcom “Abbott Elementary” be tossed out of court.
According to RadarOnline, the Emmy Award-winning writer — along with ABC — have asked the court to dismiss all claims brought by aspiring actress, writer, and performer Christine Davis.
Quinta Brunson in “Abbott Elementary”
According to reports, Davis believes the defendants came across her work and swindled her script. However, Quinta Brunson and ABC are now fighting back against the allegations. The parties reportedly want the lawsuit dismissed and their attorney fees paid by Davis.
In their motion, Quinta Brunson claims the two productions are not similar.
“Starting with reading the very first page of Plaintiff’s treatment, it is evident that the concept and feel of the works are wholly dissimilar. While This School Year begins with a second-grade teacher Ms. Davis, slamming a book against her face at the idea that a new school year is starting, Abbott Elementary begins with a bubbly, positive, and optimistic second grade teacher, Janine Teagues, gushing about how excited she is to be starting another year with her students.”
The filing continues,
“The remainder of the Abbott Elementary story focuses on Ms. Teagues and her colleagues doing everything they can to support their students despite the lack of resources and administrative support, while This School Year is much more cynical and is focused on the displeasure of the teachers at the prospect of teaching at P.S. 311.”
Brunson’s attorney adds,
“the characters of the works are not similar either. [Davis] characterizes the protagonists of the two shows, Ms. Davis and Ms. Teagues, as ‘ambitious, young, motivated, and naive characters,’ but in This School Year, Ms. Davis is already jaded about the inner workings of her school. Ms. Davis is often miserable, seen literally screaming ‘from the top of her lungs’ and throwing a book in despair …By contrast, if there was one word to describe Ms. Teagues, it would be ‘enthused.’”
As you may recall, following “Abbott Elementary’s” remarkable seven Emmy-Award nominations, the network and Brunson were hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit on July 12, 2022.
Christine Davis is claiming her show “This School Year” and “Abbott Elementary” share the same premise. According to Davis, her show was registered with the copyright office in 2020, a year before “Abbott Elementary’s” 2021 debut. On top of a jury trial, Davis is seeking damages demanding that “Brunson and ABC turn over all profits they made from the show.”
According to the suit, both shows share similar qualities such as the “look and feel of the inner-city school, the mockumentary style, unique plot synopsis, set design, and unique characters.” It also states that most of the characters are “nearly identical,” and the plots in the first few episodes are similar. Davis claims this all came from her script, which she wrote in 2018.
In the suit, Davis alleges that she had three different meetings regarding “This School Year” with two women named Shavon Sullivan Wright and Cherisse Parks at Blue Parks Productions in the summer of 2020. She was aware of Hulu and ABC’s search for “Black, female-led comedies” and received notes on her scripts. A few months later, “Abbott Elementary” started filming. However, it’s important to note that, according to reports, producers Shavon Sullivan Wright and Cherisse Parks aren’t connected to the ABC sitcom.
A judge has yet to rule on the matter.
ABBOTT ELEMENTARY – “Pilot” ABC/ TYLER JAMES WILLIAMS, QUINTA BRUNSON, SHERYL LEE RALPH
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