New York Daily News

October 20, 2016

Man claims he created ‘Golden Girls’ puppet parody, sues producer of the show

Barbara Ross

Man claims he created ‘Golden Girls’ puppet show, sues producer

A new puppet show based on the popular 1980s “Golden Girls” TV series was hijacked by its producer from an award-winning Australian screenwriter, a new lawsuit alleges.

A new puppet show based on the popular 1980s “Golden Girls” TV series was hijacked by its producer from an award-winning Australian screenwriter, a new lawsuit alleges.

In court papers, Thomas Duncan-Watt insists the man taking credit for the show, Jonathan Rockefeller, stole the script from him last year after the two had agreed to develop a world license for a similar “Golden Girls” puppet parody that Duncan-Watt had created for an Australian audience.

Rockefeller, who has produced “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” show “brazenly and publicly has stolen all of the accolades, credit and financial fruits” of Duncan-Watt’s Australian production, which is called ‘Thank You For Being My Friend,’” the lawsuit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, alleges.

That title is based on the television show’s theme song.

Rockefeller “is not and never was” the creator of the New York show because “he does not have the creative talent or technical skills to write such a script,” court papers claim.

Rockefeller, who could not be reached for comment, is accused of “confusing” local audiences by suggesting that the New York show is the American production of the Australian show.

Duncan-Watt’s lawyers say in court papers that Rockefeller persuaded Duncan-Watt to write a new puppet show, then “simply took the ‘Golden Girls’ script, made minor tweaks, gave it a new name and is fraudulently attempting to pass it off as his own original creation.”

Rockefeller’s Caterpillar production, which features 75 ‘magical’ puppets and tells four stories written by the children’s author Eric Caryle, has been nominated for a Drama Desk and other awards.

Read on nydailynews.com

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