A former art student is suing Andre 3000 for copyright infringement after accusing the rapper of stealing his idea for the Cartoon Network series “Class of 3000.”
Timothy McGee is seeking $2 million from the artist, born Andre Benjamin, the Cartoon Network and its parent company Turner Broadcasting, reports the Boston Herald.
McGee claims to have submitted a show idea in 1997 to then Cartoon Network vice president of programming Michael Lazzo about a series following the lives of a group of young musicians, “as they try to break into Atlanta’s burgeoning music scene.”
The lawsuit says the “characters, artwork, storylines and concepts” McGee developed for his show were heavily borrowed upon for Dre’s show, which aired from November 2006 to May 2008.
McGee’s show proposed Babyface as the young musicians’ mentor and included “a young corporate type” who aspired to be a music producer, a “tough full-of-attitude female executive, a young techno-whiz sound engineer, a talented young Asian singer and a central energetic young singer/rapper,” according to the suit.
“Class of 3000” featured Andre as Sunny Bridges, a musical genius who left his hometown of Atlanta to pursue a recording career, only to return after experiencing the corruption of the business.
Sunny is hired as the new music teacher at the Westley School of Performing Arts where his students include a would-be music producer, a “tough, brash full-of-attitude” female student who plays the harp and guitar, a “technological genius bass player, and talented twins of Asian ethnicity,” McGee’s lawsuit said.
McGee’s lawsuit cites copyright infringement, breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets in the creation of the award winning show. He is requesting compensation in the form of all the profits from the show, as well as court fees and any other payment the courts may see fit.
“We’ve requested $2 million in damages thus far,” said McGee’s attorney Jerrold Neeff. “The rest remains to be seen.”