Chris Rock's Hair-Raising Lawsuit! Injunction Filed Against Comedian's "Good Hair" 


Chris Rock is being sued for $5 million by Regina Kimbell, producer and director of "My Nappy Roots: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage."

Kimbell is saying that Rock's upcoming film, "Good Hair" (opening in limited release this Friday), copied her "Nappy Roots" documentary. She claims that, "after hearing the buzz about the film, Rock requested a private screening at Paramount Studios. Unaware that Rock had a deal to produce a black hair documentary for HBO, Kimbell agreed to let him see the film."

"Good Hair" is directed by Jeff Stilson with the script written by Lance Crouther, Paul Marchand, Rock, Chuck Sklar, and Stilson.

So the issue is -- there are two documentaries about African-American hair, and Rock copied Kimbell's take on the subject. Really? A good copyright lawsuit argues that the way ideas are expressed are very similar. Upon looking at trailers for both films, I don't think there's a similarity to the expression of ideas.

You be the judge. Play Rock's "Good Hair" trailer, and then the "Nappy Roots" preview. Also, after the vids, you'll be able to read Kimbell's injunction request filing.





And here's the press release I received from Kimbell:

FILMMAKER REQUESTS AN INJUNCTION

AGAINST “GOOD HAIR”


(HOLLYWOOD, Oct. 7, 2009) - - Filmmaker Regina Kimbell continued her quest for justice filing a request for injunction in federal court in downtown Los Angeles against Chris Rock’s “Good Hair,” scheduled for limited theatrical release on Friday, Oct. 9.

Yesterday, the evidence submitted included an email from Kimbell to Doug Miller, then Rock’s assistant and now “Good Hair” associate producer. In the email, Kimbell lets Miller know that she suspected they were making a copy of the film without her permission.

The court filing against Chris Rock, HBO, and the domestic and foreign theatrical distributors is requesting a halt in releasing the film this week and future release until a verdict is reached by jury trial.

On Monday, Kimbell filed a $5 million copyright infringement lawsuit. The basis for the lawsuit is “My Nappy ROOTS: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage” was allegedly copied by Chris Rock after he and his production team viewed the film in June 2007. After hearing the buzz about the film, Rock requested a private screening at Paramount Studios. Unaware that Rock had a deal to produce a black hair documentary for HBO, Kimbell agreed to let him see the film.

Kimbell’s idea for the movie began in 2002 when her daughter Brighton, then 16-years-old, wrote an essay, which served as the starting point conceptually of a five-minute film, mentored by her mother. As a result, over the years the award-winning film evolved from an essay, to a short film, and now a feature-length film.

The feature-length is a definitive, feature-length documentary film that examines the legacy of black hair care through cultural, societal, and political issues in the African American community over time. It covers a diverse array of hairstyles from dreads to braids, twists, perms, jeri curls, weaves, and the afro that bridge hundreds of years of African American culture.

This zesty journey tackles “good hair versus bad hair” and the role media plays as influencer. The illustration of emerging industry trends and hair artistry from top hair shows throughout the United States allows infinite travel from the past, present, and to the future with celebrities (Vivica A. Fox, Patti LaBelle, Niecy Nash, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, to name a few), historians, authors, journalists, comedians, hair stylists, barbers, and black hair care industry business icons.

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