The New York Daily News reports, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, the parents of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin, claim The Weinstein Company owes them at least $150,000 for the film and television rights to their book, Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin, about the aftermath of the 2012 shooting.
Trayvon Martin’s parents argue that the production company owes the money for their “executive producer services,” as stated in the contract. According to the documents obtained by the news publication, “Episodes of a television series have been filmed but not yet aired.” They also state further “contingent compensation” will be owed if the series airs in the future. Although the deal letter also included option rights for a film, the company hasn’t taken action.
Fulton and Martin allege TWC is attempting to “cherry pick” parts of the contract to declare that no money is owed. The filing states, “The deal letter is a single contract and must be assumed in its entirety.”
The non-fiction book is filled with anecdotes and family stories about Trayvon Martin, who was gunned down by George Zimmerman. During the trial, Zimmerman claimed self-defense and was acquitted of second-degree murder. The verdict caused national outrage and is one of the incidents that helped to galvanize the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Weinstein Co. and JAY-Z were due to collaborate on the Trayvon Martin series; however, the rapper filed a claim against the company in bankruptcy court earlier this month, claiming he is owed $240,000 for the Martin project and the Time: The Kalief Browder Story docuseries.
The production company filed for bankruptcy protection in March after its co-founder Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault and misconduct by a large number of women. The court has approved the sale of the company to Lantern Capital Partners, a private equity firm, on May 8.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.