November 27, 2010 10:00 AM by Shayla Perry
MTV has fired back at screenwriter, Christopher Gambale, who claims that the network stole his idea for a reality show that focuses on “stereotypical guidos and guidettes,”–aka The Jersey Shore. Gambale sent a letter to MTV execs, threatening a law suit, but this week, the network responded with a letter of their own! Keep reading for all the details.
After screenwriter Christopher Gambale’s sent a letter to the network, claiming to have pitched the idea of a Jersey Shore-like show to MTV in 2006 (his show was called “Guidos: The Reality Series”) and threatening legal action, MTV (and their very skilled legal team) has responded to Gambale, and by the looks of it, he’s going to have a hard time proving his case.
In the letter, MTV asserts that The Jersey Shore isn’t the first show that’s been done that focuses on young Italian Americans, and cites Saturday Night Fever, My Cousin Vinny, Kiss Me, Guido, and Growing Up Gotti as examples of other movies and shows that are based on the same idea.
The network also says that they have done shows of the same “theme” in the past, like True Life: I’m a Jersey Girl, and True Life: I’m in a Summer Shore.
And though Gambale claims that his work is registered with the Writers Guild of America, according to MTV, the text is “simply cut and pasted off UrbanDictionary.com”–spelling errors and all! So even if Gambale’s show idea was stolen from the network, it wasn’t his original idea to begin with. Something he probably should have thought about before going through the trouble of hiring a lawyer.
In another argument, MTV states, “…the general idea of a show ‘exploring the lifestyle of the Brooklyn/New Jersey Guido’ is not copyrightable. Neither are the types of scenes that inevitably arise out of that idea–including clubbing, tanning, drinking, and dancing.” Or GTL, which Gambale claims was a part of his series as well, despite the fact that the term is never used in his work, and nothing in it “includes cast members routinely doing their laundry so they have a clean shirt to hit the town in.” And yes–those are the exact words written in the formal letter.
Apparently, none of these facts matter to Gambale, and he’s not backing down. After the network threatened to fight back with all their legal power if sued, Gambale told TMZ that he’s not afraid.