Reading Rainbow was a big part of all of our childhoods. We would all be so excited to hear the new stories that Levar Burton would be reading to us and luckily it continued for decades.
However it isn't all sunshine and rainbows. Now, the show is causing quite the commotion after beginning a legal battle with the former host, Levar Burton. He is being sued by the creators of the series for violating contracts.
Burton launched a kickstarter back in 2014 to try and fund a reboot of the show. It didn't seem to work out exactly as planned, but he did launch a new podcast called Levar Burton Reads.
He would read short stories each episode and a encouraged people to think of it as "Reading Rainbow for adults".
The problem is that because of this comparison, WNED (the creators of the original show) are claiming that it is "an unmistakable - and unauthorized - invocation of Reading Rainbow".
The complaint against Levar Burton was filed on August 4th, 2017. The lawsuit says that, "The media latched on to Mr. Burton's use of the phrase 'Reading Rainbow for adults,' and it became the de facto slogan for the podcast." Because of this reference they think that he is guilty of infringing on copyrights.
This isn't all they are accusing him of, click to the next page to see the rest of the allegations against Levar Burton.
According to the lawsuit, "Mr. Burton's goal is to control and reap the benefits of Reading Rainbow's substantial goodwill - goodwill that unquestionably belongs to WNED."
In 2011 Levar Burton's company RRKidz did enter an agreement to with WNED to "divide and conquer" where RRKidz would be "focused on 'the creation of good[s], products and services' incorporating the RR Intellectual Property - specifically, a digital "app" for children - WNED would focus on developing new Reading Rainbow episodes."
The lawsuit claims that even though RRKidz was developing the app like they were supposed to, their Kickstarter caused a delay in any of WNED's new episodes. They also claim that RRKidz was secretly negotiating a new series with Netflix.
One of the biggest issues that the lawsuit addresses is the fact that during Burton's new podcast, he often says phrases that he used to say in the show. He says "I'll see you next time" as well as "but you don't have to take my word for it," which WNED claim is how the actor is an "invocation of Reading Rainbow"