Archive for July 1, 2004

Candid Camera Sued For Copyright Infringement

Posted in News & Commentary on July 1, 2004 by G Lopez

LOS ANGELES – PAX-TVs ‘Candid Camera’ is facing a lawsuit this week from a Continental Airlines flight attendant. No, the show didn’t plant hidden cameras in the airport changing room. Continental employee Paula Peterson claims ‘Candid Camera’ was her idea, and she has the napkin to prove it.

According to the suit, filed sometime mid-afternoon, Peterson pitched the idea – that of a hidden camera capturing elaborate pranks played on unwitting subjects – to a writer friend in August 2001. He in turn discussed the idea with his agent, Joel Willbury.

Soon after that fateful day over clams at Bennigan’s in Pasadena, the suit said, Peterson’s friend kept “losing her phone number.” Subsequently, the suit alleges, Willbury presented the idea to Peter Funt, son of Candid Camera creator Allen Funt, while the younger Funt was in the process of selling Candid Camera to the PAX Network.

Peterson, who claims she is no relation to Vickie Peterson of the 80s girl-group The Bangles, also claims, “there is no possible way any executive in Hollywood could have come up with this. Unknown actors portraying clerks? False arrests of minor celebrities? Public nudity? A show about real people? No way, Jose.”

Did I mention she had the napkin to prove it?

Remembering to write her idea on a cocktail napkin at the Endeavor Restaurant at LAX, Peterson then placed the napkin in a hardbound copy of ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’, a book recommended to her by her writer friend. But although she loved the book’s title, she never got around to actually reading it.

It wasn’t until a recent layover in Ohio that Paula saw her dream realized in a sort of drunken psycho-projection kaleidoscope on the TVs at a sports bar inside Columbus Airport.

“This place had a lot of TVs. I saw my idea played out on every one, on every channel and then they started spinning around and multiplying with voices mocking me to the strains of psychedelic rock music. It was freaky.”

After having water splashed on her face, Peterson picked up a nearby phonebook and called a fucking lawyer.

The suit, which claims breach of confidence, conspiracy and unjust enrichment, seeks damages of at least $10 million. Peterson hopes she can get a “ton of plastic surgery out of (the settlement)”

“If anything,” says her attorney/fiancĂ©, who is also an aspiring director, “the airport freakout would make a great scene in a movie.”