Cindy McKenzie has joined PricewaterhouseCoopers as managing director of its U.S. entertainment, media and communications practice. Based in Los Angeles, she will oversee PwC’s Southern California efforts in technology, data and business intelligence consulting, focusing on such areas as IT strategy, digital supply chain,content rights management, third-party compensation and content security. McKenzie was SVP Information Technology at Fox Entertainment Group and before that VP Information Systems at Sony Pictures. PwC’s annual “Global Entertainment and Media Outlook” report is must-read for industry pros.
Fox Cable Networks, Fox Entertainment Group and National Geographic Society are being sued by a widow of an Army soldier over the documentary Inside Afghan ER, which she claims shows unauthorized pictures of her and her children. Donnice Roberts, whose husband Staff Sgt Kevin Casey Roberts was killed on duty in Afghanistan in May 2008, says her family’s lives are in danger from radical fanatics because of what was shown in the documentary, which never aired in the U.S. (Authorized by the Pentagon, Inside Afghan ER only aired internationally in 2009.) Roberts wants an injunction against Inside Afghan ER and more than $75,000 in damages, and she is seeking an order to stop the names and images of military families being used without their permission. Fox and National Geographic Society are partners in the Nat Geo Channel and Nat Geo Channels International. The suit was filed November 1 in U.S. District Court in Texas; service summons orders against the plaintiffs were filed Wednesday. “We have not been served with a lawsuit and as a result we can’t comment,” a Fox spokesperson said today, speaking for all defendants.
Alex Footman and Eric Glatt should not be allowed to enlarge their class action suit to include all Fox Entertainment Group interns, says Fox Searchlight. In a 24-page memorandum filed Wednesday in New York federal court (read it here), the studio claims that the request the former Black Swan interns’ made last month is speculative and not even plausible. Fox Searchlight did concede that former intern Eden Antalik could serve as a rep for interns in its NYC office. They did not do the same for Kanene Gratts, who served as an intern on (500) Days of Summer back in early 2008 in LA. Fox, who co-produced that film, claims that Gratts is time-barred under California law, which has a four-year statute of limitations.
A hearing in Manhattan on August 24 could significantly enlarge the class action suit two Black Swan interns brought last year against Fox Searchlight. In an order made public today (read it here), Judge William Pauley III has agreed to a conference next week on Alex Footman and Eric Glatt’s request to amend their suit. “Plaintiffs will seek to broaden the scope of the case to include all interns who participated in Fox Entertainment Group’s (‘FEG’s”) internship program,” wrote their lawyer Rachel Bien in an August 2 memo to the judge. The duo also want to separate the class of interns for their suit into “Corporate Interns,” those who worked through the FEG program, and “Production Interns,” those who worked on films that Fox Searchlight co-produced. To that end the amended suit will add two new plaintiffs, Eden Antalik and Kanene Gratts. The former worked through the FEG program and the latter worked on 2009’s (500) Days of Summer, a Searchlight co-produced film. The legal documents also state that “Ms. Gratts would seek to bring classwide claims under California’s Unfair Competition law for unpaid minimum wages on behalf of Production Interns who worked in California.