Attorneys Seek Testimony from Universal Execs Adam Fogelson, Ron Meyer and Michael Moses Over Faizon Love’s Erasure from “Couples Retreat” Movie
Los Angeles (December 6, 2020) – Film star and comedian Faizon Love has asked a California court to order three top current and former Universal executives to provide depositions about their roles in directing the studio’s racist actions in marketing the 2009 film “Couples Retreat,” according to a motion filed this week by Love’s law firm Browne George Ross O’Brien Annaguey & Ellis LLP (“BGR”).
The motion in Superior Court in Los Angeles seeks expedited discovery from Adam Fogelson, the former Chairman of Universal Studios; Ron Meyer, the now retired chairman of NBCUniversal; and Michael Moses, the current President of Worldwide Marketing for Universal Pictures.
The lawsuit and motion say it is believed that all three studio executives were responsible for the removal of Love’s name and image, along with that of co-star Kali Hawk, from international marketing posters for the hit film. They were the only Black stars of the film, and Love’s contract with Universal guaranteed him star billing on par with six of his co-stars, including in advertising and promotional materials for the film.
Love and Hawk appeared in those materials in the U.S., but were erased from international efforts. The studio also refused to invite Love to participate in the European press tour for the film’s initial foreign release, the suit states.
“It’s vital that we are able to question these powerful industry executives under oath as soon as possible,” said Love’s lead attorney, Eric George, of Browne George Ross O’Brien Annaguey & Ellis LLP (“BGR”). “Their testimony will show exactly how Universal Studios was and is practicing overt racism that perpetuates the second-class treatment of Black talent in Hollywood – and how that racism begins at the very top.”
Love’s legal complaint alleges that all three executives played a role in either carrying out this racist treatment of Love, or making false promises to Love in the wake of his removal from the poster. Fogelson apologized for the racist poster and assured Love the racist poster would not be used going forward – yet in July 2020, Love discovered Universal continues to use the racist posters in direct violation of his contract, according to the lawsuit.
The Lawsuit alleges that Meyer and Fogelson promised Love more starring opportunities if he did not publicly or legally pursue the issue – yet none have materialized. By nature of his position then and now Moses is believed to have some responsibly for Love’s removal and the studio’s policy of removing Black actors from international posters. Given that these actions have gone uncorrected for 12 years, Love felt he was left with no choice but to sue Universal for breach of contract as well as fraud and violations of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act for intentional discrimination, because Love is Black.
A Decade of Second-Class Treatment
Love has been a successful performer as a stand-up comedian, film and television actor, and voice-over artist for more than 30 years. He has more than 75 acting credits – including lead roles in the hit holiday film “Elf” and the cult classic “Friday.” Because of his experience and success, he was chosen for a lead role in “Couples Retreat.” He agreed to a lesser salary for the film because he believed the role would provide him an opportunity for additional high-profile film and TV roles in the future, the suit states.
In 2009 Universal Studios was within the corporate structure of the General Electric Co., and the decision-makers who removed Love from the advertising were under the supervision of Fogelson, who is now chairman of STX Films, the suit alleges. The lawsuit also alleges that Fogelson and the film’s producer, Scott Stuber, now head of original programming for Netflix, personally promised Love the racist poster would be taken out of publication and they would provide new opportunities to him.
The lawsuit alleges that the wrong perpetrated against Love in 2009 continues to this day now under Universal’s current ownership, Comcast. Comcast owns Universal through the NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment division of its wholly owned subsidiary NBCUniversal, which both then and now has a stark lack of diversity, according to the lawsuit.
Continuing to see the “Love-less” promotional materials on websites around the world – including Europe, Latin America and Asia – as well as on major websites like MSN.com and Sonychannel.com, has resulted in both lost professional opportunities for Love and an immensely painful reminder of the walls Universal and other studios erect to stymie Black success.
“This film was a huge success for Universal, but instead of honoring my work and my contract, the studio chose to render me invisible to billions of moviegoers around the world,” Love said. “They took away from me an opportunity to expand my profile across the world, and that is exactly what I contracted for when I agreed to appear in the movie.”
Love said he filed the lawsuit “not just for the wrong committed against me, but for the discriminatory practices against Blacks and people of color in the entertainment industry. I want to ensure that future generations don’t have to endure the racism and whitewashing that I have experienced.”
The lawsuit is especially significant in 2020, in the wake of the racial justice movement and the Motion Picture Academy’s pledge to address the historic lack of diversity in Academy Award nominations spotlighted by the #OscarsSoWhite movement.
For more information about Love’s lawsuit, please contact Sam Singer at Singer Associates Public Relations in San Francisco.
Related Posts (YARPP)
Oakland News Now Recent Posts
- Vivid-Pix Asks What Happened To Great-Uncle George In Online Mystery Game
- Velodyne Lidar Introduces Next-Generation Velabit Sensor
- Dave Kaval Oakland A’s President Shows Us Globe Life Field In Arlington, Texas
- Oakland Council President Bas To Hold Old-Media-Only Meetup On Budget Vote In Downtown Oakland
- 25th Street Art Gallery Oakland Saturday Stroll
- Oakland A’s Sergio Romo Drops Pants During Umpire Inspection For Foreign Substances
- City Auditor Pt1 Courtney Ruby, Oakland City Auditor, All About Community, June 8, 2021
- Boxing Keith Thurman Says Pacquiao Fist Feel Like a Rock Spence Better Listen – By Eric Pangilinan
- Atlanta Hawks Upset Milwaukee Bucks 116-113 To Win NBA East Finals Game 1
- Sonic The Hedgehog Celebrates It’s 30th Anniversary As A Franchise, By: Vinny Lospinuso
- Hawks Trae Young Shimmy Scores Three vs Bucks NBA Playoffs Game 1 2021
- Raiders Josh Jacobs Was Not happy Losing Hudson And Jackson – By Eric Pangilinan
- Boxing Oscar De La Hoya Coming Out Of Retirement- By Eric Pangilinan
- Raiders Derek Carr Supports Teammate Carl Nassib – By Eric Pangilinan
- Raiders Receiver John Brown Building Chemistry With QB Derek Carr
- John McAfee, Who Ran For President vs Donald Trump In 2015, Died In Spanish Prison
- Loki Lamentis Review Recap – By Jessica Dwyer
- Loki Episode 3: Does The Ark Reference Have Symbolic Meaning To Noah’s Ark? By Joseph Armendariz
- 2412 Kingsland Ave Oakland, CA 94601
- Bike Oakland/Alameda: Bay Trail & Bay Farm Island
Oakland News Now Archives
- California eviction moratorium still in limbo ahead of June 30 expiration – San Francisco Chronicle
- Adams leads in NYC mayoral primary but 2 others have a shot – theday.com
- Giant Crane To Pass Under Golden Gate Bridge En Route To Oakland – Patch.com
- Oakland Police Department using de-escalation simulator to train officers on use of force – California News Times
- Oakland A’s minor-league updates: Who’s making the case for a promotion? – The Mercury News
- Photos: Rally and vigil follows Juneteenth shooting at Lake Merritt – The Oaklandside
- Gwyneth Paltrow Probably Didn’t Write This Guide to What’s Cool and New in SF – Flipboard
- Crystal Teahon Obituary (1941 – 2021) – Cordes Lakes, AZ – Custer County Chief – Legacy.com
- East Bay Assembly candidates lay out LGBTQ plans – Bay Area Reporter, America’s highest circulation LGBT newspaper
- Cruise ships are back in business, but new rules mean changes – CNET