Picture it: New York. 2016. Off-off-way-off-Broadway.
An Australian playwright is claiming that the idea for The Golden Girls: A Puppet Parody, which is exactly what it sounds like, was stolen from him by off-Broadway producer Jonathan Rockefeller in an $11 million lawsuit.
Thomas Duncan-Watt, who calls himself the "actual comedic script writer," according to The New York Post, claims he conceived the idea of the play and that Rockefeller "does not have the creative talent or technical skill to write such a script." There's really no shade like theatrical shade.
The play originated in Australia which allowed Rockefeller, Duncan-Watt alleges, to steal the latter's show and present it as his own to American audiences. The saucy Aussie continued his litigious carry against Rockefeller, stating that the producer married a distant cousin of the famed New York family only to begin distancing himself from Duncan-Watt because he "had money."
The $11 million suit cites defamation, fraud, breach of contract, breach of licensing agreement, and other actions, and also calls for the end of the play's run and for Rockefeller to publicly admit he’s a thief.
Rockefeller, in a statement, "strongly" denied Duncan-Watt's claims and looks "forward to vindication in court."
Aside from the fact that $11 million is grossly overestimating the value of an off-Broadway show parodying a beloved '80s sitcom, why would Thomas Duncan-Watt want to deprive the world of so much felt-covered joy? It's times like this I wonder what would Bea Arthur say (#WWBAS).