Morgan Creek Productions accuses Netflix of misusing two scenes from the Jim Carrey film
Netflix is facing a new lawsuit over Tiger King. While the streaming company did not get the success it had hoped for with the second part of its documentary series focusing on the story of Joe Exotic, The Hollywood Reporter reports that Morgan Creek Productions have sued the platform.
That production company filed a lawsuit against Netflix and Goode Films, the producers of Tiger King, for copyright infringement over the use of clips from the film Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls in the first episode of the documentary series.
According to the lawsuit, those scenes allegedly show Jim Carrey’s character with a “monkey wrapped around his neck and shoulder” and “triumphantly riding an elephant”.
While those clips from Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls would take up no more than 5 seconds of screen time in Tiger King, Morgan Creek Productions claims they were used “without permission or licence” and would have even served to “enhance the commercial value of Tiger King” and add “levity” to the series’ plot.
“Without leaving any doubt as to the source, a dubbed voice identifies a film as Ace Ventura, at the precise moment the infringing clips appear on screen,” the lawsuit says. “Plaintiff is informed and believes, and then alleges, that Ace Ventura is the only film used in Tiger King where more than one clip appears.”
In that regard, Morgan Creek Productions contends that using those scenes from the sequel Ace Ventura in Tiger King would have implied that the people behind that 1995 film were “favourably promoting” the show.
Tiger King became a phenomenon when it premiered in 2020, so Morgan Creek Productions are also claiming that as the first episode of the series was seen by “an audience of literally millions of viewers”, the damage would have been multiplied and are not only asking that the defendants cannot use clips of their property again, but are also seeking statutory damages along with their attorneys’ fees.
For now, it is unclear how this lawsuit will be resolved, and while Morgan Creek Productions says it has previously tried to settle this dispute with Netflix and the producers of Tiger King to no avail, it is worth remembering that Carole Baskin also sued the streamer in the context of the Tiger King 2 premiere.