[Just this week both Disney and Rysher Entertainment lost lawsuits to profit participants who said they were owed money. But the system was designed to discourage these kind of lawsuits. Which reminds us of this story. It’s a conversation between an Executive Producer of a TV series and his Friend at the studio that produced the show.]
Executive Producer: I understand that our show has been very successful.
Friend at Studio: Very. The most successful TV series ever.
EP: That it made millions.
Friend: Well, it brought in millions. Hundreds of millions.
EP: As a profit participant, I think I’m gonna sue. I never got any money.
Friend: Of course not. And you’d be crazy to sue.
EP: But you just said it made millions.
Friend: No, it brought in millions. Didn’t make a dime. In fact, it’s still 79 cents in the red.
EP: You’re kidding.
FRIEND: Listen. You’d be crazy to ask for more money, and sane if you didn’t, but if you’re sane you’ll probably have to ask. If you ask you’re crazy and won’t get any, but if you don’t want any you’re sane and have to ask.
And, of course, if you tell some ordinary schnook about this they’ll say it would be crazy not to ask, because how can a show that made hundreds of millions not be in the black, but let me tell you, you’d be insane to ask ‘cause these studios play hardball and have long memories and don’t like to be screwed with.
EP: Wow. That’s sorta like that Catch—
FRIEND: Yeah. It’s sorta a Catch-22.
EP: That’s some catch.
FRIEND: It’s the best there is. It’s res judicata.
FREIND: Ipso facto.
FRIEND: If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull.
EP: Oh. I get it. Well, I don’t give a darn. I still might sue.
EP: I don’t give a darn.
FRIEND: That’s our shortstop.
(with apologies to Joseph Heller, Abbott and Costello and W.C. Fields)