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The Biggest 'The Big Bang Theory' Lawsuits No One Talks About!
2023/08/09

Sheldon's "Soft Kitty" Caused Some Controversy

Sheldon Cooper had his fair share of unique qualities that made him stand out in the friend group. One of those qualities was the ability to make those around him feel sorry for him, even though he didn't always treat them fairly. This was especially the case when he was sick. Being away from home, Sheldon—who was a stereotypical "mama's boy"—missed his mom when he was feeling under the weather. One of the things he missed most was when she sang "Soft Kitty." The first time fans heard the lullaby was when Cooper demanded Penny sing it for him before he went to bed since his mom wasn't there.

"Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur. Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, pur, pur, pur."

Sheldon Cooper had some of the funniest lines, and the short song won audiences over and it soon became a part of Sheldon's character. What some fans don't know, however, is that the song was allegedly used without the creator's permission, according to BBC. The daughters of the song's creator, Ellen Newlin Chase and Margaret Chase Perry, filed a suit against CBS in 2015 for copyright violation. Because of how popular the song became, the family was bothered the network used it without permission.

The lawsuit, however, was eventually dismissed by a judge because, as it turned out, production did get permission to use the lyrics from the parent company that produces "Soft Kitty" in one of its children's books.

The problem was that Newlin Chase and Chase Perry were left in the dark over the deal. Because the network did seek permission from the start, the case was dropped.

TBBT's Very Popular Theme Song Went To Court

It's rare to have a theme song that's as popular (if not more) as the show itself, but TBBT proves itself successful in all aspects. Written by The Barenaked Ladies, TBBT's theme song made millions as it was tailored to the "Big Bang's" concept and talked about the world's creation in a fun, creative way.

The Truth Behind Big Bang Theory's Controversial Use Of "Soft Kitty"

In an interview with Metro, the band's frontman Ed Robertson was approached by TBBT's creators to write the theme. Robertson, however, wasn't sure the job was right for him and the band because of past TV work that didn't end well. Once Robertson learned that Chuck Lorre was behind the series, he knew TBBT could be a hit and wound up writing the song with the help of his band.

According to ScreenRant, In 2015 (eight years after the song's creation), former band member Steven Page filed a lawsuit against Robertson. Because of the millions of dollars the Barenaked Ladies' theme generated due to the syndication factor of one of the most successful sitcoms of all time, Page sought money he claimed he was promised.

The site revealed that Page agreed to 20% of the song's revenue but never wound up seeing those earnings. The outcome of the lawsuit has never been released, but it's hinted that the case was settled when Page joined the band for a concert in 2018.

There Was An Age Discrimination Suit Brought Against Warner Bros.

In August 2016, former assistant director Christopher Klausen filed a discrimination lawsuit against Warner Bros. Television after feeling pushed out by executives after working on The Big Bang Theory for seven years. The Hollywood Reporter shared that Klausen believes he was allegedly fired after turning 50 and was shunned by the cast and crew.

According to The Wrap, Klausen's duties were reassigned to other assistant directors who were in their '20s and '30s. After Season 8, he received a call that his contract was terminated based on performance. As one of Warner Bros. highest-grossing shows, Klausen believed he was wrongfully terminated and filed a 25-page suit. Shortly after the filing, the lawsuit was settled but neither Warner Bros. nor Klausen commented on the matter.

Copy Cat

After releasing in 1007, TBBT was easily one of the most popular sitcoms on TV. The combination of a "geeky" scientific friend group and the beautiful neighbor across the hall worked with viewers.

In fact, it worked so well that another production company in Belarus essentially copied the series.

The Things shared that TBBT creators were made aware of a very similar show airing in Belarus called The Theorists. In a card that appeared at the end of an episode, Lorre wrote, "Belarus does have a bustling TV production industry. One of their most recent hits is a sitcom about four nerdy scientists who live next door to a beautiful blonde waitress. The characters are named Sheldon, Leo, Hovard, Raj, and Natasha, and the show is entitled, The Theorists." This was Lorre's way of getting back at the copycats for stealing his work and rebranding it despite how huge TBBT was (and how notable TBBT's cast's net worths were.)

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