It’s all about the benjamins

‘Grace Under Fire’ Creator Sues Over Show Profits
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The creator of TV’s “Grace Under Fire” has sued the show’s producers saying he lost millions of dollars in part because of payments made to cast and crew members who were sexually harassed and verbally abused by star Brett Butler.
Chuck Lorre, a writer and producer who worked on the sitcoms “Roseanne” and “Dharma & Greg,” also alleges accounting irregularities by the company, Carsey-Werner-Mandabach.
Butler’s manager, Mark Burg, disputed the allegations against the actress.
“The crew that did ‘Grace Under Fire’ was the same crew that started the show,” Burg said. “Nobody left. They all supported Brett and she’s still friends with people from that crew. To this day some of her best friends are the people she worked with on that show.”
Carsey-Werner spokesman James Anderson said he could not comment on the breach of contract lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
According to the suit, Lorre created “Grace,” wrote the pilot episode and served as executive producer for the first season. The suit says he signed a contract with Carsey-Werner that would pay him about 11 percent of the show’s net profits.
Lorre claims in the court papers that after his departure as executive producer, Carsey-Werner “failed to properly manage” the show, which ate into the net profits.
Among his allegations are that Carsey-Werner permitted a hostile working environment “in which sexual harassment and verbal and emotional abuse by Butler against cast and crew members were tolerated or ignored.”
The lawsuit did not offer details of the alleged harassment and abuse but claims that Carsey-Werner settled them by paying “substantial” settlements to those who complained.
“Plaintiffs allege that an executive producer and at least two and possibly three supporting cast members received large cash settlements to resolve their claims of sexual harassment and emotional and verbal abuse,” the lawsuit said.
Among Lorre’s other allegations are that Carsey-Werner continued to pay some cast and crew members after the show was shut down during the fifth season and that it tried to hide accounting irregularities from him.
He asks for compensatory and punitive damages “in an amount to be determined at trial but in excess of $3.4 million.”
“Grace Under Fire,” a sitcom about a recovering alcoholic mother struggling to bring up two children on her own, ran from 1993 to 1998 on ABC.