Veteran director/actor Marlon Wayans has come out victorious in the lawsuit he was dragged into this past summer, revolving around one of the characters from the hit FOX animated comedy Family Guy. A judge recently threw out the case filed against him by one Pierre Daniel, who claimed he had been racially harassed by the director on the set of one of his recent movies, and was none too impressed at being compared to the animated sitcom character.
Back at the end of August, Daniel accused the director of both racial discrimination and harassment. The lawsuit in question was related to a social media post uploaded by Wayans in which he displayed a composite photograph of both the complainant and Family Guy character Cleveland Brown, detailing his amusement and the pair’s likeness and inviting his followers to deny the fact that the two shared what he felt was an extremely uncanny likeness to each other. The claimant accused the director of not being funny or poking light-hearted fun at all, but rather cyber-bullying to the extreme. He also says that Wayans leered at him and rolled his eyes while the two were on set together, to the point where Daniel felt incredibly embarrassed and humiliated. Due to the alleged mockery in question, the man says he was so traumatized he was forced to drop off the set completely and subsequently could not find any follow-up work due to his mental state surrounding what had gone down with the director.
The judge, however, was not overly sympathetic regarding this allegations. He admitted that there was an extremely similar likeness between Daniel and Cleveland Brown, and that Wayans was completely within his rights to make that comparison and portray it in a humorous manner. He says that the comment fit with the filming of the scene, and therefore it was nowhere near as big a deal as the plaintiff was attempting to make it into. In terms of Daniel’s insistence that the comparison was extremely offensive, the judge dismissed this by stating it was protected speech given that the actor’s main part of the trade is to work with stereotypes in order to get laughs from the public.
Although Wayans is off the hook, it in no way means the end of the case overall. Daniel also launched his case against the movie’s production company, accusing them of allowing such harassment to take place under their own roof without doing anything to step in and rectify the situation. He was subsequently suing the company for unspecified damages, and there is not yet any word as to whether this part of the lawsuit will end up moving forward.
Shortly after the ruling in question, Wayans gave a statement to TMZ in which he expressed his joy at winning the case, and how happy he was that free speech in America continued to be protected by a court of law. He then joked that he was going to proceed to return to his residence in order to watch reruns of the now canceled Cleveland Show.
Marlon Wayans recently came out victorious in the summer lawsuit against him involving Pierre Daniel being compared to FOX’s Family Guy character Cleveland Brown. Any further court date to deal with the rest of the situation has yet to be announced.
By Rebecca Grace