Spike Lee Sued
It’s time for Spike Lee to lawyer up! The filmmaker and his companies are being sued by the directors of three union benefit plans who contend he didn’t make sufficient health and pension contributions, according to a new report.
The lawsuit was this week in LA against Lee, Forty Acres and a Mule Filmworks and Black Butterfly Productions. It claims an audit found nearly $45,000 in unpaid contributions between September 2007 and March 2010.
The suit said Lee controlled Black Butterfly, a signatory to collective bargaining agreements, and treated its assets, which include the 2008 film, “Miracle at St. Anna,” as his own while failing to pay its debts.
The suit says,
Despite multiple demands, Black Butterfly has failed to pay the claims asserted by the Plans. Black Butterfly refuses, and continues to refuse, to pay the amounts due for unpaid contributions disclosed by the audit.
The plaintiffs manage plans for the American Federal of Musicians, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Studio Transportation Drivers. They are seeking all unpaid damages, interest, audit costs and legal fees.
Lee is an American film director, producer, writer, and actor. His production company, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, has produced over 35 films since 1983. He made his directorial debut with She’s Gotta Have It (1986), and has since directed such films as Do the Right Thing (1989), Malcolm X (1992), The Original Kings of Comedy (2000), 25th Hour (2002), Inside Man (2006), and most recently Chi-Raq (2015).
He has received two Academy Award nominations, a Student Academy Award and an Academy Honorary Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and won numerous other awards, including two Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, an honorary BAFTA Award, an Honorary César and the 2013 Gish Prize.