Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hell's Angel Sues HBO

Sonny Barger oversaw the Hell's Angels motorcycle group for years, including when they offered "security" for the Rolling Stones at Altamont. Now, he is suing HBO after being cut-out of the new drama series, 1%.

1% is based on motorcycle gangs, in general (the Arizona chapter of the Death Rangers, specifically), but Barger claims it draws heavily from his best-selling autobiography, which was licensed to Fox. After buying the rights, Fox assigned the project to writer/producer, Michael Tolkin (also named in the suit). Barger was given the option to be a producer on the series, but refused.

The suit claims HBO used Barger's likeness and other properties without his permission and they were made aware of his objections but refused to change them. Some of these objections included a character named "Chief" (Barger's own nickname), the setting (Carefree, AZ is adjacent to the town in which Barger currently resides), and the character's history (which closely matches Barger's). While these elements have been changed, Barger's suit seeks compensatory damages and an injunction which would deny HBO the right to distribute the film.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

1 comment:

  1. Just a FYI in keeping with the overall theme, I wanted to note that I included the "journalism" tag on this post because it concerns an autobiography, which is basically a diary/journal.