'Narcos' Executive Producer Sues Over Profits

Katie O'Connell Marsh says she is owed millions in contingent compensation.
Courtesy of Netflix; Getty Images
'Narcos'; inset: Katie O'Connell Marsh

Veteran TV executive Katie O'Connell Marsh says she is being shorted millions in profits from series including Narcos and Hannibal, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Marsh is suing Gaumont Television for breach of contract, claiming she hasn't been paid a penny of her share of gross receipts from the aforementioned shows, as well as Hemlock Grove and F Is for Family.  

Marsh says she knew joining a startup studio was a risk, but in 2010 she signed a three-year deal under which she agreed to less guaranteed pay in exchange for other compensation, including a 2.5 percent share of gross receipts from series produced while she was employed. When she signed on for another three-year term as CEO in 2013, she didn't get a raise, but did get other perks including an increased gross receipts share.

In 2015, the company reorganized and eliminated Marsh's position. In a redacted section of the complaint, Marsh claims she emphasized her contingent compensation while negotiating her separation agreement. 

"Ms. O'Connell Marsh not only put GIT [Gaumont International Television] on the map in the television industry, but the series she developed as GIT's first employee have kept Gaumont financially viable to this day," writes attorney John Berlinski in the complaint. "Unfortunately, despite her successes, GIT and then Gaumont have chosen not to honor their most basic contractual obligations to Ms. O'Connell Marsh and have failed to calculate or pay her MAGR [modified adjusted gross receipts] consistent with her Separation Agreement."

In another redacted section of the complaint, Marsh claims Gaumont is unilaterally redefining a key term to avoid paying her. She is asking a court for a declaration as to the definition of the term, plus "many millions" in damages.  

Gaumont has not yet responded to a request for comment on the complaint, which is posted in full below.