As noted college football analyst Yoda would say, thick with this one, the irony is.
Earlier this month, it was reported that LeBron James‘ multimedia company, Uninterrupted, had sent a letter to Alabama’s football program expressing concern over a possible copyright infringement regarding an online video series capturing typical barbershop conversations. The initial Alabama version, called “Shop Talk,” showed a barbershop-like conversation involving Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban and former Crimson Tide standouts Julio Jones, Eddie Jackson and Ryan Anderson; LeBron’s version, dubbed “The Shop,” had already seen a pair of episodes released prior to UA doing theirs. There was also a similarity in logos, inasmuch as scissors can potentially be intellectually co-opted as well.
Monday, TMZ.com reported that the NBA superstar’s company is now being sued by another company, Adventure Enterprises, which claims that Uninterrupted essentially stole the barbershop idea right out from underneath their feet. From the website’s report:
The company claims it had numerous talks about the idea with LeBron’s company, UNINTERRUPTED, over a period of 2 years … fleshing out the idea and figuring out a strategy for pitching it to various networks.
According to the lawsuit, LeBron went and cut Adventure Enterprises out of the picture and created a ripoff show called “The Shop,” featuring LeBron in a barbershop with his contemporaries, “while engaging in an intimate conversation describing cultural experiences.” The show aired as a webisode.
Adventure Enterprises claims it confronted LeBron’s people, and what they got back was an apology and assurances it was a one-time deal and wouldn’t happen again.
Apparently it did happen again, because another segment aired on ESPN no less.
For what it’s worth, the site’s sources labeled the suit as “totally frivolous and publicity seeking.” There’s no word yet on if Saban has learned of the development or how big of a guffaw the coach let out if he was apprised of the situation.