Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
BBC Orders Steve McQueen's "Epic" Drama Series on a Black Community in London, From 1968 to 2014 BBC Orders Steve McQueen's "Epic" Drama Series on a Black Community in London, From 1968 to 2014 It's Official! Trevor Noah Will Indeed Succeed Jon Stewart as Host of 'The Daily Show' It's Official! Trevor Noah Will Indeed Succeed Jon Stewart as Host of 'The Daily Show' Producer of 'The Walking Dead' Says There’s No Conspiracy to Kill Off the Black Male Characters Producer of 'The Walking Dead' Says There’s No Conspiracy to Kill Off the Black Male Characters Roger Moore Says Idris Elba as James Bond is "Unrealistic" Because He's Not "English-English" Roger Moore Says Idris Elba as James Bond is "Unrealistic" Because He's Not "English-English" Dr Dre Hopes the N.W.A. Movie Will Correct Notions of the Group's Treatment of Women + Working on Inspired Album, More Dr Dre Hopes the N.W.A. Movie Will Correct Notions of the Group's Treatment of Women + Working on Inspired Album, More TV Casting Directors React to Deadline's "Ethnic Castings" Article (A Fad That Will Eventually Pass?) TV Casting Directors React to Deadline's "Ethnic Castings" Article (A Fad That Will Eventually Pass?) Taraji P. Henson Will Host 'Saturday Night Live' for the First Time in April (How Many Black Women Have Hosted?) Taraji P. Henson Will Host 'Saturday Night Live' for the First Time in April (How Many Black Women Have Hosted?) For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much 'Key & Peele' "Substitute Teacher" Sketch to be Developed as a Feature Film 'Key & Peele' "Substitute Teacher" Sketch to be Developed as a Feature Film Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Hollywood And Crime... Harlem Nun Sues Disney & Sony Claiming They Stole "Sister Act" From Her

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act November 11, 2011 at 4:56PM

Almost 20 years (wow, that long?) after Sister Act was released in the US, Harlem-based Queen Mother Dr Delois Blakely, a real-life former Roman Catholic nun, with a pair of Ivy League degrees, has now come forward with claims that her life was the inspiration for the film, and has officially launched a lawsuit against Disney and Sony Pictures.
3
queen mother

Almost 20 years (wow, that long?) after Sister Act was released in the US, Harlem-based Queen Mother Dr Delois Blakely, a real-life former Roman Catholic nun, with a pair of Ivy League degrees, has now come forward with claims that her life was the inspiration for the film, and has officially launched a lawsuit against Disney and Sony Pictures.

Queen Mother, or Dr Delois Blakely, who was profiled back in 2003 by the New York Times as Harlem's Queen Mother, and veteran activist, alleges that... at the time, she was (according to the Hollywood Reporter) a...

... young, black, singing nun serving the street people and youths of Harlem... who published the autobiography The Harlem Street Nun in 1987. Later that year, she approached Tri-Star Pictures producer Cynthia Bowles, among other Hollywood figures, with a three-page synopsis. Bowles apparently sent her a letter in reply, expressing interest in the film rights. Later... producer Scott Rudin took a Sister Act project from Tri-Star to Disney. This became the film starring Whoopi Goldberg as Delois van Cartier...

Blakely's suit states that there are similarities between the story she presented Tri-Star initially, claiming...

... breach of contract, misappropriation of likeness, unjust enrichment and other claims

And is...

... demanding an injunction against further violation of her publicity rights and equitable relief.

Interestingly, she will be represent herself in the case; and you know what they say about representing yourself in court. Although I've seen it work... in the movies mostly, however :)

So, the inevitable question I'm sure you're all asking is, why did she wait almost 20 years to bring this suit to court??? I have absolutely no idea; I'm sure someone will ask her that sooner or later.

Of course, the studios in the suit haven't released any comments... yet.

Sister Act as a packaged product has been immensely profitable for those with stakes in it; including Whoopi. It's current incarnation is as a stage musical, currently enjoying a successful run on Broadway, after receiving 5 Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical.

We'll be watching this one to see where it goes.

This article is related to: Things That Make You Go Hmm...


Shadow & ActNewsletter