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Weekly Issues in the News

By Geisa Balla

Macy's Inc. filed a lawsuit under seal against Martha Steward Living Omnimedia Inc., on January 23, 2012, in New York State Supreme Court. This lawsuit seeks an injunction to block a deal between Martha Stewart Living and J.C. Penney. J.C. Penney acquired a 16.6 percent stake in Martha Stewart Living, and announced plans to open Martha Stewart shops inside its stores. Macy's Inc. argues that the deal with J.C. Penney violates the exclusivity terms between Martha Stewart Living and Macy's Inc.


PBS, the TV network that airs the widely popular show Downton Abbey, was forced to rename its Downton Abbey jewelry collection on its website. PBS's Downton Abbey collection featured a number of jewelry items from third-party vendors, describing and associating each item with the characters of the show, such as "Lady Mary knotted pearl necklace and earring set" ($159). Yet the profits were not shared with creator Julian Fellows or Carnival Films, the show's producers, who own the copyright to the series. The attorneys for Carnival Films stepped in and PBS complied immediately by removing any direct references to the show or its characters in the item descriptions.


"Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" former employee Paul Tarascio filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against Jimmy Fallon, claiming that Tarascio was dropped from his position as stage manager at the show in 2010, and replaced by a "totally incompetent woman." The lawsuit alleges that the show's director David Diomedi told Tarascio that "Jimmy just prefers to take direction from a woman," and that Diomedi "knowingly fabricated alleged performance issues" against the plaintiff to have him terminated. Tarascio is suing for punitive damages and lost wages.


Jay Leno was sued by a California man for a joke he made on January 19, 2012, on the "Tonight Show." The punch line of Leno's joke is that Mitt Romney is so rich that his vacation home is India's Harmandir Sahib, better known as the Golden Temple of Amritsar. The Golden Temple of Amritsar is one of the most sacred buildings in the world to the Sikh people. The lawsuit claims general and punitive damages, arising from a joke that "falsely portrays the holiest place in the Sikh religion as a vacation resort owned by a non-Sikh."


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 26, 2012 10:07 PM.

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