Harry Shearer Sues For “This is Spinal Tap” Profits

The business of Hollywood is screwing creative people until those people get too big to screw.  The brilliant Harry Shearer has been lucky enough to have that Simpson’s money to play with and now, like Batman, he can use his fortune to build batsuits and right wrongs. Or at least retain lawyers to right wrongs.

“This is Spinal Tap” is one of the great comedies of all time.  It is inarguable that it’s a classic, always playing somewhere since it was released in 1984 and the lines, music and images are universally recognizable across generations.  So it is indeed baffling that the 4 creators – Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Christopher guest and Rob Reiner have never shared in the profits. The current owner of the property, Vivendi, will argue that the film is not profitable, yet.

But according to a copy of the lawsuit posted online by Deadline, Vivendi paid the four just $81 in worldwide merchandising income between 1984 and 2006, and $98 in music sales between 1989 and 2006.

“Well, $98 is about enough to buy one miniature Stonehenge,” said Shearer.

The most important people in Hollywood aren’t directors, actors or (lord knows) writers, the MVPs of Hollywood are the accountants in the cubicles in New York and Burbank who can create spreadsheets that are masterpieces of numerical fiction.  30 years of distribution, records, tapes, DVDs, cable TV showings around the world and a film that cost  $2,500,000 to make is not yet profitable.

Harry’s website with more details on the suit is Fairness Rocks.

Good luck Harry, every suit like this is heroic. Make ’em open up the books and show their work.


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