The sitcom that gained massive popularity this year is being hit with a significant lawsuit– copyright infringement. After Abbott Elementary was nominated for seven Emmys, a case followed behind.
The creator of the show, Quinta Brunson, and the ABC network face a copyright lawsuit after an aspiring writer, actress, and creator, Christine Davis, submitted legal court documents alleging Brunson and ABC ripped off her show idea, This School Year.
Abbott Elementary is about a group of dedicated teachers and a principal driven to help their students succeed at a public school in Philadelphia. The show stars Everybody Hates Chris, Tyler James Williams, creator Quinta Brunson, Janelle James, Lisa Ann Walter, and Sheryl Lee Ralph.
According. to Radar Online, Davis claims that Abbott Elementary used her original ideas that were registered with the United States Copyright Office in 2020. Then Davis alleges that Abbott Elementary was scheduled to film later in the year 2020.
Slash Film reports, “In court documents, Davis says that This School Year is a mockumentary-style comedy about a ‘young, idealistic teacher hoping to get tenure but also trying to convince everyone that the school needs to be reformed.'” This is like the lead teacher in Abbott Elementary, Jaine Teagues, played by Quinta Brunson.
Davis also alleges she shared her script with Hulu and ABC at Blue Park Productions in 2020 to discuss the show where both shows saw black women leads and a series idea of a “documentary camera crew hired by the school principal.”
Ultimately, Hulu didn’t pick up the show, despite Abbott Elementary allegedly mimicking the mockumentary style that was initially pitched.
ABC and Brunson have yet to comment.