Lee Daniels Sued Over Non-Payment of Residuals

The action also asserted that a 2011 arbitration decision awarded the union more than $335,000 including $169,630 in residuals, $25,323 in pension and health contributions and $93,544 in late payment liquidated damages. The lawsuit is seeking enforcement of the 2011 arbitration decision.

Lee Daniels

Lee Daniels

More than five hours after the reports of the legal action appeared, SAG-AFTRA said in a statement late Tuesday night that the arbitration award had been obtained after several years of trying to resolve a claim related to unpaid residuals on “Shadowboxer.”

“California law provides for a four year statute of limitations for the confirmation of arbitration awards,” the union said. “As attempts to enforce the arbitration award were unsuccessful, the union filed this action to reserve all rights to obtain payment. Residuals payments are crucial income for many of SAG-AFTRA’s 160,000+ members and the union vigorously enforces residuals payments for members.”

The statement also noted that the union had not taken any action against Daniels as an individual: “SAG-AFTRA respects Mr. Daniels as a producer and director and has not taken any legal action against him individually. This dispute is with the corporate entities responsible for residuals payments on the film.”

The union also said that subsequent to the issuance of the award, SAG-AFTRA served a notice of assignment to attach revenue generated by the distribution of the film.

“While we were able to recover a modest amount of the debt over the last few years, we determined that foreclosure on the film would yield the best result for the cast and therefore sought to confirm the award and move forward with a foreclosure sale at this time,” it said. “We remain ready to resolve this dispute amicably.”

Daniels directed and was a producer on “Shadowboxer,” which grossed around $500,000 at the box office. His camp has yet to comment.

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Authored by: Kellie Williams