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LeVar Burton can now use his Reading Rainbow catchphrase with impunity

(Photo: Getty Images, Jason Kempin)

Because the world is overwhelmingly sad and frustrating these days, LeVar Burton was sued back in August by New York public broadcasting network WNED for using his old Reading Rainbow catchphrase—”but you don’t have to take my word for it”—on his LeVar Burton Reads podcast. WNED owns the rights to Reading Rainbow, but with Burton launching a successful Kickstarter campaign to pay for a digital revival of the classic PBS show and his aforementioned podcast being widely perceived as “Reading Rainbow for adults,” WNED evidently got nervous that the intellectual property was being stolen by Burton and his RRKidz company (which had secured the rights to make the digital Reading Rainbow revival).

Now, though, it looks like the legal battle has been settled and Burton can go back to using his old catchphrase as much as he likes. That’s according to Vulture, which talked to Burton recently and learned that the lawsuit had been settled not long after it was originally filed in August. The terms of the settlement haven’t been released, but it sounds like Burton and RRKidz (which has now been renamed LeVar Burton Kids) no longer have the go-ahead to make that digital Reading Rainbow series, as WNED has released a statement saying that it’s “working on the next chapter of Reading Rainbow” and Burton has released one saying that he “[looks] forward to seeing what they do with the brand next”—implying that he won’t be involved.


Either way, he’s allowed to say “you don’t have to take my word for it” again and he’s not getting in trouble for encouraging literacy, which is probably good.

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