Comedian and breakout Friday actor (Fans remember him as Big Worm) Faizon Love is currently suing Universal Studios for practicing systemic racism in their marketing and advertising of the 2009 film “Couples Retreat.”
He alleges that the distribution arm intentionally crafted campaigns that excluded people of color off of collateral material like posters and DVD covers.
The case further notes that Love believes that Universal is in “breach of contract as well as fraud and violations of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act for intentional discrimination” against him because he is Black.
The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by Mr. Love’s law firm Browne George Ross.
“Setting aside Universal Studios’ self-professed solidarity with progressive racial goals, the facts underpinning this case demonstrate that Universal Studios is a fully-participating collaborator in maintaining a bigoted status quo,” his lawyer Eric George said in a statement.
Faizon Love’s representation says that he was contractually guaranteed by Universal that he would be billed at the same level as his six other co-stars, including advertising and promotional materials for the film. He and Kali Hawk were the only Blacks in the film. The two of them were on some of the material, but reportedly not on the international promotional items.
He challenged them back in 2009 and they promised to change. They did not.
“As far as Universal was concerned, its contract meant nothing, its promises to correct its egregious behavior meant nothing, and its pledges to Faizon Love meant nothing,” Love’s lawyer Eric George said. “Yet this is not merely a breach of contract and good faith: It is nothing less than a deliberate act of racism on the part of Universal Studios at the highest levels.”
“Universal Studios lied. Not only did it flout its promise of career assistance to Mr. Love, Universal Studios continues to this day to use the offending poster—not merely internationally but now also domestically. What Universal Studios had initially portrayed to Mr. Love as an unintentional act of oversight and carelessness was, we now know, an intentional act of disparate and discriminatory treatment by Universal Studios and the remaining defendants,” George said.
Despite the lawsuit, Love continues to thrive as an actor, comedian, and influencer.