LOS ANGELES (CAP) - Legendary Muppet Gonzo the Great has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the Walt Disney Company, alleging that the corporation that now owns the Muppets name is not honoring agreements regarding use of that name as previously made with the Jim Henson Company.
"All my client seeks is his legal ability to make a living utilizing the name he has helped to make famous for over 35 years," said Gonzo attorney Murray Plotzky. "If Disney can't honor that, then they can pay."
According to the lawsuit, Gonzo and five of the other Muppets signed an agreement with the Jim Henson Company that stated each could tour under the name of the Muppets if any of them went longer than 15 months without either a television or big-screen production. Their last appearance was The Muppets, which hit the box office in November, 2011.
At issue is whether that agreement transferred to Disney when the company bought the rights to the Muppets in 2004.
Lawyers for the Walt Disney Company would not talk on the record with CAP News, saying they don't comment on pending litigation. However, a source speaking on the condition of anonymity told CAP News that the turn of events has created some discord within Muppet camp.
"They treat us good. We all wish Gonzo had just left well enough alone," said the source. "I mean, things are so bad that Statler and Waldorf actually want me to tell jokes to lighten the mood, wocka wocka wocka."
At the advice of his lawyer, Gonzo has also refused comment. However, Gonzo confidant Camilla did express to CAP News through an interpreter that Gonzo would like the proceedings resolved as quickly as possible "so he can go back to being America's favorite blue weirdo."
No trial date for the case has yet been set.
- CAP News Staff