“Abbott Elementary” creator Quinta Brunson and ABC are being sued for copyright infringement for the Emmy-nominated series.
According to court documents obtained by The Post, Christine Davis filed the suit, claiming that the hit show is a “veritable knock-off” of her show called “This School Year.”
Filed July 12, Davis alleges that she wrote her script — based in a New York City public school — in 2018 and registered with the copyright office in early 2020. Brunson’s creation premiered in 2021.
Davis also claims that the show mirrors the “look and feel of the inner-city school, the mockumentary style, unique plot synopsis, set design and unique characters.”
Additionally, she says many of the characters are “nearly identical” and claims the first few episodes have similar plotlines.
The suit alleges that both shows “look and feel of the inner-city school, the mockumentary style, unique plot synopsis, set design and unique characters.” ABC
In Davis’ project, the school’s principal hires filmmakers to make a documentary following how everything is going according to plan. But the teachers and student body have their own perceptions of the school.
The main character of “This School Year,” Ms. David, is a “young, idealistic teacher hoping to get tenure but also trying to convince everyone that the school needs to be reformed.”
“Abbott Elementary” creator Brunson stars as the lead character, Janine Teagues, who teaches at an underfunded public school in Philadelphia. Surrounded by enthusiastic and caring colleagues, their principal can be a little tone deaf.
Davis also claims that both series have similar plotlines in the first few episodes. ABC
“Without [Davis’] permission, license, authority, or consent, [Brunson & ABC] knowingly and illegally used [Davis’] works to create the ‘Abbot[t] Elementary’ television show,” according to the suit.
Davis claims that she had three meetings with Sullivan Wright and Cherisse Parks at Blue Parks Productions in Los Angeles in mid-June and July, and they then reportedly showed “The School Year” script to Hulu. “Abbott Elementary” started filming a few months later.
Neither producer is connected to the ABC series.
First day of production for Abbott Elementary season 2.
— quinta brunson (@quintabrunson) July 18, 2022
She is seeking a jury trial and damages of an unspecified amount and additionally demanding that “Brunson and ABC turn over all profits they made from the show.”
Quinta Brunson, 32, made Emmy history this year by being the first black woman to ever be nominated in three comedy categories in the same year. Kristina Bumphrey/Shutterstock
A representative for Brunson declined to comment to The Post. However, on Monday, she tweeted, “First day of production for Abbott Elementary season 2,” which she wrote with the nail-filing emoji — which is often used to throw shade — and a blushing smiley face.
The Post also reached out to reps for “Abbott Elementary.”
The show recently received seven Emmy nominations. Brunson made history as the first black woman to be nominated for Best Comedy; Best Actress, Comedy; and Best Writing for a Comedy Series in the same year.