Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Complete Disaster: South Park Lawsuit Days After Royal Beatdown

South park lawsuit
South park lawsuit

 South Park is currently in a massive $200 million lawsuit. Warner Bros Discovery is suing Paramount Global for what they call verbal trickery. With season 26 of the show currently underway, South Park, over the last week, has been at the center of widespread media coverage. You might be quick to think that it was for negative reasons, but it is quite the opposite.

As part of the latest episode titled the worldwide privacy tour, showrunners Matt Stone and Trey Parker decided to have some fun at the expense of the royal Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. During the episode, several jabs are taken, pointing out a few inconsistencies from the couple.

South Park lawsuit
Screenshot from South Park YouTube Channel

The controversy surrounding this pair started when they appeared on Oprah Winfrey and called the Royal Family out for being racist. Irrespective of whether you find those claims true, it did stir up quite a controversy. Britain’s opinion of Meghan Markle had already been decided. The Interviews, Netflix documentaries, and exclusive podcast deals did not do much to help.

The Royal Beatdown

In the South Park episode, the two are depicted as Canadian Royalty. They embark on a worldwide privacy tour demanding that people respect their private lives. A real-life book published by Prince Harry where he details his life was another topic of mockery for the show.

Universally, the episode has been praised by fans and media alike. Most agree that Matt and Trey did an excellent job portraying the royals and perfectly depicting how the rest of the world feels about them. In response to the episode, there has been a rumor that the Royal Pair is not too happy with the show.

Multiple outlets have reported that Markle was upset and overwhelmed by the show painting them in such a negative light. Some have also suggested that the pair are considering legal action. It is unclear whether they will follow through, but a spokesperson insisted these claims are baseless and untrue.

South Park Lawsuit

All of this brings us to a few days after the episode launched. While still enjoying the positive coverage, a massive South Park lawsuit worth $200 million quickly restated all celebration. There can be no denying that even after all these years, South Park is still a massively popular show.

As such, it should come as no surprise that media companies constantly fight over rights. Warner Bros Discovery currently holds the rights to all the old episodes of South Park and exclusive rights to newer seasons. However, in 2021, Paramount struck a deal with South Park Digital Studios for their rights. Part of this deal included six more seasons as well as 14 movies. The six seasons of South Park will air on Comedy Central, which Paramount owns. However, the streaming rights for these episodes will exclusively belong to Warner Bros and HBO Max.

The rights to the 14 movies will be exclusive to Paramount. The deal for new episodes delivered to HBO Max and Warner Bros was initially set to start in 2020. However, South Park could not have on this date due to the Pandemic. As a result, they only started to push out episodes recently.

WB Alleges South Park Verbal Tricks

However, They did push out four movies under their deal with Paramount. Both the pandemic movies and the streaming war movies were exclusively delivered as per the original agreement. HBO Max, however, is not too happy with this. Warner Bros claims that the film was, in fact, episodes and that verbal trickery was used to deceive them.

As part of the suit, they allege that the movies should have been broken up into episodes and delivered to them. They believe that keeping all of this content to themselves was unfair and resulted in them getting a massive boost in subscribers. HBO Max feels like that boost in subscribers should have been filtered through to them.

I think Warner Bros does not have much of a case. Whether they think the movies should have been episodes doesn’t matter. The deal was apparent. The seasons belong to HBO Max, but the film will be for Paramount. Under Warner Bros’ logic, Paramount can strike back with their own suit and claim that the current season should not have been episodes but movies.

Under this contract, episodes are 22 minutes long. Each part of the movies South Park produced is at least three times that length. It is clear that Warner Bros is just upset with the growth of Paramount and is now trying to hurt a competitor. This is a classic Corporate move.

No Suit For Matt and Trey

It should be noted that neither Matt Stone nor Trey Parker is named in the suit. Although Matt Stone and Trey Parker created the show, paramount Global is the license owner. Large media companies often take ownership of the rights to shows produced under their studio. In this case, it is no different. In this context, the licensing rights do not mean much to the show creators.

Although Paramount might own the show, they do not have anything without Matt and Trey. Since the show is written, produced, and voiced by them, they can sign these massive multimillion-dollar deals. They received $900 million from Paramount Global to continue with the show.

Warner Bros paid $500 for the old library and new seasons, but that money does not go to Matt and Trey. The license owner receives those fees; thus, Matt and Trey could avoid the suit. They do not control where any of the episodes go. They produce them, and since Paramount made the final decisions, they must go to court and fight this.

Conclusion

it will be exciting to see how all of this plays out. Both these companies are worth billions, so a fight like this can last years. In this ever-changing media landscape, large corporations who used to dominate the TV space are more desperate than ever to survive in this all-new digital space. Everyone now has a streaming service, and we will only see this trend continue in the coming years.

As these media enterprises continue to carve out a piece of the internet for themselves, more aggressive fights for content will occur. In the TV space, we also used to see this all the time. Each company has its own set of channels. They either create their shows or their license from other places. For their streaming services, it won’t be any different.

One can only hope this fighting does not hurt the viewer’s experience.

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3 thoughts on “Complete Disaster: South Park Lawsuit Days After Royal Beatdown”
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