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Friday, November 16, 2012

Actor Hank Azaria Pitches Legal Battle Over Baseball Character

Ohhh, Wilmer Valderrama…this must have hurt!

Hank Azaria, who provides the voices for a host of characters on “The Simpsons,” including Moe Szyslak and Chief Wiggum, is suing over the rights to one of his characters.

Azaria and his How to Pictures, Inc. filed suit Wednesday against “Leap Year” actor Craig Bierko in U.S. District Court in Central California on Wednesday, saying that Bierko is jeopardizing a potential movie deal by falsely laying claim to a voice that Azaria claims he created nearly 30 years ago.

...It also drew the attention of Bierko, who subsequently contacted Azaria and claimed to have created the voice either independently or in collaboration with Azaria, the suit says. (The complaint says that Bierko never made clear which it was, and that Azaria denies the claim in either case.)

The suit claims that Bierko’s claim to ownership on the voice “has created a cloud over the rightful ownership of the Azaria Voice (which is an integral part of the Jim Brockmire Character) such that Plaintiffs’ ability to develop a feature length motion picture based upon the Jim Brockmire Character is being significantly impeded.”

A representative for Bierko has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Azaria is seeking a declaration that the sportscaster voice alone isn’t copyrightable, but that the Brockmire character is, plus a declaration that Bierko as no claim to the voice. (He also wants Bierko blocked from laying claim to the voice.)

Repoz Posted: November 16, 2012 at 07:10 PM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: simpsons

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Monty Posted: November 16, 2012 at 07:32 PM (#4304709)
I assume the estate of Edward G. Robinson will be suing the producers of the Simpsons soon, since they clearly own the voice of Chief Wiggum.
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: November 16, 2012 at 08:05 PM (#4304720)
I'm a well-wisher, in that I don't wish you any specific harm
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 16, 2012 at 09:12 PM (#4304743)
I wonder if Lester and Eliza are helping Hank with his legal battle.
   4. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 16, 2012 at 09:35 PM (#4304747)
I assume the estate of Edward G. Robinson will be suing the producers of the Simpsons soon, since they clearly own the voice of Chief Wiggum.


Admit it, you can hear this guy delivering the papers.
   5. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 16, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4304754)
I assume the estate of Edward G. Robinson will be suing the producers of the Simpsons soon, since they clearly own the voice of Chief Wiggum.

Didn't that line "That's what they all say....They all say d'oh!" come from Double Indemnity, right after Robinson hears Fred MacMurray's dying confession into the dictaphone?
   6. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: November 16, 2012 at 10:21 PM (#4304757)
I assume the estate of Edward G. Robinson will be suing the producers of the Simpsons soon, since they clearly own the voice of Chief Wiggum.

Ah, but:
Azaria is seeking a declaration that the sportscaster voice alone isn’t copyrightable, but that the Brockmire character is
   7. Rough Carrigan Posted: November 16, 2012 at 10:45 PM (#4304767)
With all this talk of doing or not doing a voice, am I the only one waiting for Jerry Seinfeld to say "Hellllllllllllooooooo!"
   8. phredbird Posted: November 17, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4304883)
anybody who knows me knows i do a great walter brennan ... that is all.
   9. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 17, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4304891)
The producers of "The Nutty Professor" remake were significantly impeded from developing their feature length motion picture based on the Sherman Klump Character that Jerry Lewis developed, and Hank Azaria later (ahem) borrowed.

"Hey there, everybody!"
"Hi, Ricky Ricardo... uh, Dr. Nick!"

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