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Quinta Brunson Denies Ripping Off Writer’s Script For ‘Abbott Elementary,' Demands 'Meritless' Lawsuit Be Dismissed

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Source: mega;abc

Apr. 18 2023, Published 3:30 p.m. ET

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Quinta Brunson has demanded a lawsuit accusing her of ripping off a writer’s idea for her hit Abbott Elementary be thrown out of court, RadarOnline.com has learned.

According to court documents obtained by RadarOnline.com, the Emmy award-winning writer/actress — along with ABC — have asked the court to dismiss all claims brought by a woman named Christine Davis.

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As we first reported, in July 2022, Davis filed a federal lawsuit against Quinta, ABC and the production companies behind Abbott.

Abbott is a television comedy that focuses on the struggles of teachers at a public school in Philadelphia.

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In court documents, Davis claimed the idea and characters in Abbott were copied from her show, This School Year. “Without [Davis’] permission, license, authority, or consent, [Brunson & ABC] knowingly and illegal used [Davis’] works to create the Abbott Elementary television show,” the suit read.

Davis said she wrote the script in 2018 and registered it with the United States Copyright Office in March 2020. Abbott Elementary premiered on ABC in 2021.

The unknown writer said her show was a television comedy set in a New York public school. In addition, she said her show centered around the teachers being filmed for a documentary like Abbott.

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Davis claimed her main character was a woman named Ms. David who is a “young, idealistic teacher hoping to get tenure but also trying to convince everyone that the school needs to be reformed.”

In her suit, she claimed to have taken her script to two women named Shavon Sullivan Wright and Cherisse Parks at Blue Park Productions in July 2020. Davis said despite multiple meetings the talks went nowhere.

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She claimed that ABC started shooting Abbott in September 2020 with Brunson as the lead and listed as creator. She believes the defendants came in contact with her work and ripped it off.

However, Brunson and ABC are now fighting back against the claims. The parties want the suit dismissed and their attorney fees paid by Davis.

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In their filing, Brunson said the two works are not substantially similar. “Starting with reading the very first page of Plaintiff’s treatment, it is evident that the concept and feel of the works are wholly dissimilar. While This School Year begins with a second- grade teacher Ms. Davis, slamming a book against her face at the idea that a new school year is starting, Abbott Elementary begins with a bubbly, positive, and optimistic second grade teacher, Janine Teagues, gushing about how excited she is to be starting another year with her students.”

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The motion continued, “The remainder of the Abbott Elementary story focuses on Ms. Teagues and her colleagues doing everything they can to support their students despite the lack of resources and administrative support, while This School Year is much more cynical and is focused on the displeasure of the teachers at the prospect of teaching at P.S. 311.”

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Further, Brunson’s lawyer argued, “the characters of the works are not similar either. [Davis] characterizes the protagonists of the two shows, Ms. Davis and Ms. Teagues, as “ambitious, young, motivated, and naïve characters,” but in This School Year, Ms. Davis is already jaded about the inner workings of her school. Ms. Davis is often miserable, seen literally screaming “from the top of her lungs” and throwing a book in despair …By contrast, if there was one word to describe Ms. Teagues, it would be “enthused.”

A judge has yet to rule.

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