Members of 'Happy Days' cast sue CBS for $10 million over share of merchandise sales
Members of the "Happy Days" cast sued CBS Corp. on Tuesday, alleging they're not getting a cut of the money made in sales of DVDs, lunch boxes, board games and other merchandises related to the television show.
The plaintiffs named in the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court include Anson Williams, Marion Ross, Don Most, Erin Moran and Patricia Bosley, wife of the late Tom Bosley, who died last year. Two prominent members of the 1974 to 1984 sitcom, Henry Winkler and Ron Howard, are not party to the lawsuit.
The suit alleged that CBS cheated the plaintiffs of out of more than $10 million in revenue from the sale of products featuring their images, including gambling machines, T-shirts, board games, greeting cards and drinking glasses.
The actors claimed their contracts with the show's producer, Paramount Television, which has been folded into CBS, guaranteed 5 percent of 100 percent of net proceeds from merchandises that use their name, voice or likeness. However, they said CBS has not shown them revenue reports and even told Moran that no money was owed to her.
"Despite this ongoing obligation, defendants adopted a 'don't ask, don't pay' policy," the suit said. "If you don't ask, then we don't pay."
CBS said it intends to honor its obligation.
"We agree that funds are owed to the actors and have been working with them for quite some time to resolve the issue," the company said in a statement Tuesday.