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BIG NEWS

WNED—Bufffalo, NY public broadcaster and owner of Reading Rainbow—is coming for LeVar Burton with a lawsuit claiming “theft and extortion.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, he’s being sued for “hi-jacking” the PBS show and “undermining” the series.

And apparently WNED and Burton’s RRKidz have been battling in court for over a year regarding a 2011 licensing deal. “According to court papers, RRKidz obtained a license from WNED to use intellectual property related to Reading Rainbow, which ran on PBS between 1983 and 2006 and was hosted by Burton,” says THR. “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.”

If you recall, Burton launched a Kickstarter in 2014 to revive the show, but WNED wasn’t happy about it. Burton isn’t even allowed to use the catchphrase that HE made famous. Since their initial disagreement, WNED’s filed a second lawsuit, and butterflies clearly aren’t in the sky. 😦

BIG LIES

For just $725 a night, you can live like Donald Trump! Not that you’d want to, but… You know. Bloomberg  reports that Trump’s Queens childhood home is currently listed on Airbnb. The amenities? Five bedrooms that can sleep up to 20 people (#IssaParty! Or not… Since the listing says parties aren’t allowed), and a giant cardboard cutout of the president that stands in the living room. It’s “a great companion for watching Fox News late into the night,” according to the listing. And it’s the real deal! Bloomberg says Newsday has confirmed the listing is 100% legit, so don’t all rush to book at once!

BIG FACTS

Brian Trainer, the D.C. officer responsible for shooting and killing Black motorcyclist Terrence Sterling will—surprise!—not face criminal charges. Federal prosecutors claim they “did not find enough evidence to pursue a case,” according to an announcement made by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia on Wednesday.

After a careful, thorough, and independent review of the evidence, federal prosecutors have found insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer willfully used unreasonable force and/or was not acting in self-defense when he discharged his service weapon at Mr. Sterling,” Channing D. Phillips., U.S. Attorney for the District, said in the statement.

According to a report cited by The Washington Post, no D.C. officer has ever been criminally charged for a fatal on-duty shooting. Let that sink in.

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter, Bloomberg, The Washington Post

SEE ALSO:

Reading Rainbow’s Levar Burton Ties Romney’s Big Bird Remarks To His 47 Percent Philosophy

LeVar Burton: Django Is A Fantasy. It’s Not History

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