LOS ANGELES (CN) – Two actors say the makers of the Steve Martin movie “The Pink Panther” stole two scenes from their self-produced short, “An Evening with the President.” Jean Paul Epstein and Gary Stretch say their 11-minute movie, made shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, “dealt in a comedic fashion with a totally fictional first African American president might address the threat of terrorism.”
Epstein and Stretch sued MGM, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures, Steve Martin and others.
One of the scenes they claim the defendants ripped off shows an “Afghani terrorist [who] trains himself to pass through U.S. Immigration by learning to say ‘How about a hamburger?’ with a flawless American accent.”
In another allegedly stolen scene, the “entirely fictional” black president conducts a press conference, speaking mostly to a beautiful female journalist who is wearing a red dress.
Epstein and Stretch say “Pink Panther” has grossed $140 million worldwide, but the defendants haven’t paid them a cent for the two scenes.
They demand treble damages for copyright violations and unfair competition. They are represented in Federal Court by Michael Gardiner.