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LeVar Burton walking the red carpet of 'Roots' during the...

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LeVar Burton, the man who sparked a generations interest in reading, is being sued by a Buffalo, New York, based broadcaster.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, WNED-TV filed a lawsuit against the longtime “Reading Rainbow” host over  the usage of the famous tagline, “But you don’t have to take my word for it” which Burton currently recites on his new podcast, LeVar Burton Reads.

Burton and WNED have been intertwined in a contentious legal battle for over a year, stemming from a 2011 licensing deal.

“WNED’s interpretation of the agreement is that the 2011 deal represented a ‘divide and conquer’ approach to the renaissance of Reading Rainbow whereby RRKidz would be allowed to take over digital distribution of the series while the broadcaster would focus on making new episodes. Profits were to be split,” The Hollywood Reporter writes.

In 2014, Burton campaigned to raise funds for the revival of the hit show, and through a Kickstarter campaign raised $6.5 million. WNED saw Burton’s move as a breach of contract and filed suit.

The newest suit demands “that Burton’s company hand over administrative access to various websites and social media accounts,” the outlet reports.

“As evidenced by Mr. Burton’s conduct since he began ‘teasing’ the public about the return of Reading Rainbow years before his company acquired any rights to do so, Mr. Burton’s goal is to control and reap the benefits of Reading Rainbow’s substantial goodwill — goodwill that unquestionably belongs to WNED,” the lawsuit reads.

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter


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LeVar Burton Sued For ‘Extortion,’ ‘Theft’ Over ‘Reading Rainbow’ Tagline  was originally published on