Woman claims she was stripped of control over abandoned project
Think your dealings with the DMV are a headache? Ask Ashton Kutcher how he feels about them.
“Two and a Half Men” star Kutcher’s company, Katalyst Media, is being sued by producer Big Cheese Media over a reality show that would have revolved around the Department of Motor Vehicles.
According to the suit, Big Cheese’s Hedda Muskat came up with the idea for the series based on her daughter’s experience with the DMV. Muskat claims she brought the idea to Creative Artists Agency — also named in the suit — which told her she should bring the idea to Katalyst for co-production.
Though she asked to be included in any meetings on the project, Muskat claims that a pitch meeting with Katalyst was set up at a time when it was known that she was going to be out of the country. Against her protestations, CAA told her that the project was “too hot” to let it sit.
According to the complaint, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Muskat insisted on control of the project, because the DMV was wary of Katalyst due to the hidden-camera prank show “Punk’d.” Muskat claims she was orally promised that she would retain controll of the show
Instead, according to the suit, Katalyst began to exclude her, and brought in development executive Jenelle Lindsay, who “repeatedly and purposefully excluded Plaintiff from meetings relating to the Project and downplayed Plaintiff’s involvement with the Project to various third parties.”
The suit goes on to claim that Katalyst brought in “inexperienced and/or incompetent Casting Employees ad Show Runners, which Plaintiff … did not, and would never have approved.”
According to the complaint, because Muskat was stripped of control of the project, it became “the same Hollywood autopilot production that the DMV feared it might become” and DMV ultimately terminated its consent.
Muskat is seeking $2 million, plus punitive and exemplary damages and reasonable compensation for the services rendered.
Katalyst had filed a suit against the DMV over the botched project. That suit was subsequently settled.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.