Here’s the deal. Hollywood actor Christopher Massey (“Zoey 101”) and his baby brother Kyle Massey (“Cory’s in the House,” “That So Raven”) have been in the business since they were kids. Well the pair, along with their mother, Angel, are not kidding around when it comes to being played about a reality concept they developed.
Following their success on the “Dancing With the Stars,” the season 11 finalists Kyle Massey and Bristol Palin agreed to chronicle their life after “DWTS” on the small screen with a new docu-reality series originally titled “Helping Hands” on the A&E network’s Bio Channel. A concept developed by the Masseys, it would document Bristol and her son, Tripp, rooming with the Massey brothers while embarking on various charitable ventures together in the Los Angeles area.
But, Palin’s team apparently got a little too excited about the concept and wiggled Palin and her son into another deal with Bio’s sister channel, Lifetime. The show that is based on the same concept sans the Massey brothers, aired on Lifetime on Wednesday, June 19, 2012. Titled “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp,” it features Bristol readjusting to life as a single mom back in her home state of Alaska after brief stops in L.A. and the Phoenix area.
“When the press release came out [about] the actual show was when we [asked], ‘Wait? Where’s our producer credit? Where’s our creative credit?'” says Chris about the moment they discovered the concept for “Life’s a Tripp.”
“This isn’t a personal thing, this isn’t some sort of vendetta — this is me and my brother just wanting what’s rightfully ours,” he explains, noting that “we hate that it had to come to this, but this is the business part of Hollywood.”
Kyle adds, “We never wanted or intended it to get this far. We solely just wanted to make quality television that families could enjoy … and it just went to a completely different level.”
“This is not about personal feelings or personal animosity,” says the Masseys’ attorney, Courtney Coates. “It’s a matter of handling business according to the contracts and making sure that we’re being prudent in how we go about that. So there’s plenty of time, of course, to befriend and reconcile any relationships, but there’s no need for that at this time. This is a matter of just handling the business at hand.”
The brothers don’t blame Palin.
“It had nothing to do with Bristol, the Palins,” Chris explains.
Kyle agrees: “The Palins are all great people, but that’s irrelevant,” he says.
The Masseys are asking for damages and a permanent injunction against the producers from profiting on their idea. The lawsuit charges the defendants with copyright infringement, fraud and deceit, breach of contract, bad faith, misappropriation, tortious interference and unfair competition.
Bristol was not named as a defendant in the 31-page lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against Associated Television International, Helping Hands LLC and David McKenzie. –yvette caslin