Byron Allen: Class Action Suit Against TV Mogul
Former employees of Byron Allen have filed a class action suit against him, his company, Entertainment Studios and affiliated entities for breach of contract, unfair business practices and for not paying some employees the wages they say they were due.
In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, two comedians Bernadette Pauley and Thomas Clark filed on behalf of the class and claim that hundreds of actors and comedians who worked for Comics Unleashed Productions on the syndicated show Comics.TV were not paid expenses or residuals owed.
According to the documents, Pauley hosted four episodes of Comedy.TV and Clark performed as a stand-up comic in at least one episode.
The two said that they signed a contract that provided them with a salary and residual payments. Despite both their union and agents telling them that they were entitled to residuals, Allen’s company allegedly stalled and did not pay.
The lawsuit, first discovered by The Hollywood Reporter, further claims that the show went on to become successful in network syndication, as well as on a digital cable channel, Netflix, Verizon Fios and elsewhere.
“Standing on the shoulders of the show’s achievement, defendant Byron Allen Folks and his affiliate entities have been catapulted to celebrity status and enjoyed great success,” the suit read.
The comics also claim in the suit that they had expenses related to air travel, car rentals, wardrobe and gasoline but were not reimbursed what they were owed, which is a violation of the labor code of law.
The suit estimates there are 112 actors and comedians who performed on the show.
Entertainment Studios has not commented on the lawsuit.
Earlier this year, Entertainment Studios launched its latest digital cable TV network, Justice Central. The channel joined Entertainment Studios other networks that include Cars.TV, Comedy.TV, MyDestination.TV, Recipe.TV, ES.TV and Pets.TV.
The 51-year-old Allen is a former comic himself who once hosted the late night talk show, “The Byron Allen Show” from 1989 to 1992.
After the show was canceled, Allen evolved into a television entrepreneur and currently produces 32 shows for syndication and digital distribution.
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