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Victoria L. White, who was an executive producer on the 1989 theatrical motion picture Steel Magnolias along with the late Ray Stark, filed a lawsuit Monday against Lifetime Entertainment, A&E Networks and Sony Pictures Television charging an upcoming TV movie based on that film is being made without her permission or an agreement for the underlying rights.
In the suit filed in L.A. Superior Court, White is said to have been “shocked and dismayed” when she learned about the upcoming Lifetime movie entitled Steel Magnolias (the “Lifetime Project”).
The suit says that White acquired the rights that were the basis of the 1989 movie starring Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton and others, and that she developed it with Stark — who died in 2004 — and others.
The suit notes in 1991 Sony acquired Rastar Productions, which was Stark’s company. She notes there was a 1992 CBS movie based on the same material and she was credited as a co-producer.
White says she is entitled to producing credit on the new TV movie or series of movies and compensation of $5,000 per episode plus a $10,000 bonus, and a share of net profits.
The suit says the defendants told White her rights to a TV version were limited to the 1992 TV movie. She says that is not true and that she is entitled to royalties on all future TV versions.
White asks the court to stop the release of the new Lifetime movie unless she gets a screen credit and her compensation.
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Lifetime for comment and will update with a response.
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