Former Hells Angels member sues FX, claiming it stole Sons Of Anarchy idea
In a lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court of TMZ, motorcycle gang member-turned-actor Chuck Zito has demanded that FX pay him $5 million for essentially stealing his idea for the Shakespeare-on-wheels drama Sons Of Anarchy. Zito—whom you may remember from his roles on Oz, his brief appearance as himself on Entourage, or the story about the time he punched Jean-Claude Van Damme and screamed, "I own the street!"—says that he entered into an “implied-in-fact contract” with the network, which would guarantee him “reasonable” compensation and screen credits if it picked up his 1998 pitch for a show about an “outlaw motorcycle club.” Zito is a former member of the Hells Angels, having established and served as president of the group’s New York Nomad Chapter before finally leaving in 2005 to focus on acting. He claims that Sons Of Anarchy is “substantially similar” to his original idea; FX has no comment.
UPDATE: Sons creator Kurt Sutter has responded on his blog, dismissing Zito's claims as "bullshit" and calling him a "bitter, juvenile gnat buzzing in the ear of FX and myself," and issuing the following "bi-monthly reminder to every delusional bitch who thinks that they've come up with the idea for SOA": "HAVING THE FUCKING IDEA IS NOT THE SHOW. THERE HAVE BEEN DOZENS OF OUTLAW MOTORCYCLE TV DRAMAS PITCHED IN THE LAST TEN YEARS. NONE OF THEM HAS MADE IT TO SERIES, EXCEPT SOA. BECAUSE THEY SUCKED." Obviously, it's well worth a read.