AML 036: (Legal Analysis) Sudanese Lost Boys SUE Reese Witherspoon’s ‘GOOD LIE’ Producers

The Lost Boys are claiming breach of contract, breach of joint venture agreement, declaratory judgment, injunctive relief and specific performance, breach of fiduciary duty, demand for accounting, conversion of plaintiff’s ideas, promissory estoppel, commercial appropriation, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraud, unjust enrichment and quantum meruit.

Ms. Uduak, an attorney, publisher and founder of Africa Music Law takes on the latest lawsuit by 54 Lost Boys of Sudan against the ‘Good Lie’ Producers in the 36th episode of The Africa Music Law Show.

Summary of the Lawsuit Found Directly in the Complaint.

“Defendants used the life stories of fifty-four Sudanese refugees of genocide to produce the recently released film The Good Lie. The Good Lie is an A-list production by Academy Award winning producer Ron Howard starring Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon. The refugees partnered with Defendants to create The Good Lie’s script, in part, based upon their promise that a non-profit foundation organized and run by the refugees would be the sole beneficiary of any fundraising efforts associated with The Good Lie. It was expected that The Good Lie would increase public awareness of the plight of Sudanese refugees and lead to multiple ongoing and continuous fundraising opportunities to help this worthy cause. The Foundation was formed to use the proceeds of the movie’s fundraising efforts to fund schools and other philanthropic causes in South Sudan. However, neither the refugees nor their Foundation have been compensated in any fashion for sharing their traumatic personal stories and assisting with the creation of the script for The Good Lie.

When confronted during a videotaped meeting on April 15, 2013, Molly Smith, of Black Label Media, LLC, said, “The most important thing that was said here today was you asked a question, ‘Do you feel you should be compensated for your story?’ And, the answer I can say, because it’s my company and my studio, is absolutely.” Defendants have broken their promises to these refugees.” -Lost Boys Complaint

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