Dora Sues: MTV No Swiping


Credit: Original by Arnob Alam

Last week, Caitlin Sanchez, the voice of Dora the Explorer, sued MTV Networks and Nickelodeon/Viacom Consumer Products, Inc. In her complaint filed with the Supreme Court of the State of New York in the County of New York, Sanchez alleged that she was swindled out of millions in “promised compensation for merchandi[s]ing, re-runs (also known as ‘residuals’), promotional work and recordings.”

Sanchez accused Nickelodeon and Nickelodeon Consumer Products of colluding with her talent agency Cunningham-Escott-Slevin-Doherty Talent Agency, Inc. and her agent Jason Bercy to induce her to sign an allegedly unconscionable contract “with convoluted, vague, incomplete, and misrepresented terms.”

Specifically, Sanchez alleged that

  • she and her family were pressured to sign a contract with Nickelodeon without being given sufficient time to read and understand the terms of the contract;
  • she was not compensated for additional recording time;
  • she was not fully compensated for products, such as DVDs, CDs, video games, toys and dolls, that she voiced, despite promises that “she would receive 5% of all merchandise profits”;
  • she only received a $40 per diem stipend for her travel and promotional work and never received any compensation from the Defendants; and
  • she was due residuals of at least $5,115 or as much as 5-20% of Nickelodeon’s gross income “for at least 325 reruns of episodes she recorded.”

Sanchez is represented by John G. Balestriere of Balestriere Fariello.

Complaint – Sanchez v. MTV Networks et al.

Exhibit A – Nickelodeon Contract signed April 6, 2007

Exhibit B – Amendment signed January 8, 2009 (back dated to October 22, 2008)

Exhibit C – First CESD Contract signed October 18, 2006

Exhibit D – Second CESD Contract signed April 10, 2007

Exhibit E – Third CESD Contract signed June 20, 2008

Exhibit F – 2:53 PM Email from Keah Larsen sent on April 6, 2007

Exhibit G – 4:00 PM Email from Jason Bercy sent on April 6, 2007

Exhibit H – 4:30 PM Email from Jason Bercy sent on April 6, 2007

Exhibit I – 5:08 PM Email from Jason Bercy sent on April 6, 2007

Exhibit J – 5:21 PM Fax Confirmation sent by Hilda Sanchez on April 6, 2007

Exhibit K – AFTRA Rule 12-C

Exhibit L – AFTRA Computer Generated Animation and Television Agreement

Exhibit M – Amendment Email from Jason Bercy sent on January 8, 2009