Cavaliers star LeBron James‘ barbershop-themed series “The Shop” has now hatched as many legal battles as it has episodes after Adventure Enterprises filed a lawsuit claiming that it consulted with James’ multimedia company, UNINTERRUPTED, about the idea before being cut out of the production.
The suit claims that over a period of two years, Adventure Enterprises engaged in “numerous talks” with UNINTERRUPTED in order to “flesh out the idea and figure out a strategy for pitching it to various networks,” according to details of the suit published by TMZ Sports.
Earlier this month, UNINTERRUPTED sent a letter to the University of Alabama, citing concerns over copyright infringement, trademark rights and intellectual property after Alabama’s football team released a trailer on Twitter for “Shop Talk” showing Nick Saban and Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones — who played college ball for the Crimson Tide coach — in a barbershop setting.
The lawsuit is seeking an injunction that would cease the production of future episodes of “The Shop,” as well as “serious” monetary compensation, according to TMZ Sports. Adventure Enterprises is also suing James’ business partner, Maverick Carter, the CEO of UNINTERRUPTED, according to TMZ Sports.
“The company sought a payment eight months ago and were told their claim was ridiculous, and they disappeared,” a source close to James and Carter told ESPN on Monday. “They clearly saw the media around the University of Alabama story and saw an opportunity for a publicity stunt.”
The suit claims that the idea Adventure Enterprises discussed with UNINTERRUPTED was “a barbershop where celebs share their business success stories while getting a haircut,” according to TMZ Sports.
The lawsuit acknowledges their previous confrontation with UNINTERRUPTED, as ESPN’s source corroborated, which resulted in Adventure Enterprises receiving “an apology and assurances it was a one-time deal and wouldn’t happen again,” according to TMZ Sports.
The debut episode of “The Shop” featured James, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, rapper 2 Chainz, retired NBA player Charles Oakley and others in a barbershop and was released during the 2017 NBA Finals. A second episode followed in March in which James spoke about his infrequent driving habits. The filming of content for a third episode has been completed.
Since UNINTERRUPTED reached out to Alabama, the school released a second episode of “Shop Talk” but renamed the show “Bama Cuts.”