Entries in Bully (6)


Zach Ward: Bully from "A Christmas Story" Movie Sues, Says He Was Bullied in Real Life

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The actor who played the famous yellow-eyed nemesis to Ralphie in the movie, A Christmas Story, says in a lawsuit he's the one who was bullied in real life by the National Entertainment Collectibles Association.

Zach Ward, who played "Scut Farkus" in the 1983 holiday classic, settled a suit Friday against NECA after claiming the association used his image without permission in a board game based on the film.

Ward says he made just $5,000 for his performance in the movie and sued because he did not want to be pushed around himself.

"They expected me to roll over, suck my thumb and go home and complain and whine about it, but really do nothing and I just couldn't do that and it just wasn't right," Ward said.

The actor says that he did agree to allow NECA to make a 7-inch action figure to be made in the likeness of Farkus, but claims to have never given permission or been paid for the use of his image in a board game.

The movie itself gained popularity and fame on cable television, long after its run in theaters ended. By 1997 it had grown into an American holiday classic on cable television, when the TNT network began airing a 24-hour marathon of the movie on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Millions of Americans watch the film every year to this day, and a Broadway play recently launched in New York City based on the movie. Now, the actor who played perhaps the most famous bully of all time, is taking a cue from Ralphie in the movie and fighting back against NECA.

"It's not the way you're supposed to treat people and in my gut it just felt unfair and it was the perfect example of being bullied," Ward said.

Unlike other actors in the movie, Ward was a member of a Canadian actor's union and his contract did not provide future merchandising rights.

His lawsuit quotes a series of emails from the movie studio such as one that warned the board game maker: "You can not ship this product without approval from the actor who plays (Scut Farkus)."

But in the suit, Ward claimed NECA continued to manufacture and sell thousands of the board games.

"I had never been told about this," Ward said. "I had never been informed about it. I had never seen it before and I was shocked, absolutely shocked."

After settling the lawsuit on Friday, Kent Raygor, the attorney for NECA told ABC News: "During the course of the litigation, NECA admitted that it owed Ward some back royalties based on other Scut Farkus uses in an action figure, and had always offered to pay those to Ward."

However, Raygor alleges NECA always had properly obtained rights to the board game and says Ward has grown up to become a "professional plaintiff."

In regards to the current suit, he issued a statement scathing rebuke to ABC News about the real-life actor who played the bully.

"This has been a long, exceedingly silly case by a plaintiff who had a bit role as a 13-year-old in the well-known 1983 film," Raygor said. "Ward sued NECA over a barely visible 3/8" x 3/8" blurred image of part of the 'Scut Farkus' character's face on the back of a 2006 A Christmas Story board game. In that image, the Scut Farkus character is hardly recognizable. Any argument that a consumer would have bought that game just because of that tiny image on the back of the box was just wishful thinking."

Still, Raygor says NECA and Ward reached a confidential settlement of which he was barred from disclosing the financial terms. Raygor said the lawsuit was dropped following the settlement.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


"The Three Stooges," "The Cabin in the Woods," "Lockout" Open Friday

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here's a look at the new movies opening nationwide Friday:

-- The Three Stooges: The iconic comedy trio tries to raise enough money to save the orphanage that raised them.  In the process, they inadvertently become involved in a murder plot.  Sean Hayes, MADtv's Will Sasso, and The Kennedys actor Chris Diamantopoulos play Larry, Curly and Moe, respectively.  Jane Lynch, Sofia Vergara and Larry David also star in the Farrelly brothers-directed comedy.  Rated PG.  [Click here to read a review]

-- The Cabin in the Woods: Horror strikes when five friends visit a remote cabin in the woods.  Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford star in the Joss Whedon-produced film.  Rated R.

-- Lockout: Guy Pearce is a falsely-convicted ex-government agent who attempts to secure his freedom by rescuing the president's daughter from a prison in outer space.  Maggie Grace also stars.  Rated PG-13.

Also, the teen bullying documentary, Bully, expands to 55 markets with its new PG-13 rating.  National Education Association Vice President Lily Eskelsen recommends parents and kids see the movie together.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


"Bully" Gets PG-13 Rating Following Edits

Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After weeks of openly protesting the "R" rating of its documentary Bully, the Weinstein Company announced Thursday that the film has been given a new rating. 

The distributor says the Motion Picture Association of America lowered the film's rating to PG-13 after three uses of the "F" word were removed.  The Weinstein Company stresses that a "crucial" scene in which a teenager is harassed on a bus was not edited.

The PG-13 version of Bully will be released on April 13, when the movie expands to 55 markets.

The Weinstein Company, which previously lost an appeal of the "R" rating, released an unrated version of Bully in New York City and Los Angeles last week.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


"Hunger Games" Tops Box Office Again

Eric Charbonneau/WireImage(LOS ANGELES)  -- Wrath of the Titans felt the wrath of The Hunger Games over the weekend.

For the second consecutive weekend, The Hunger Games topped the box office, earning an estimated 61.1 million dollars. The blockbuster film has raked in $251 million domestically in 10 days of release and is now the highest-grossing film of the year to date, surpassing Dr. Seuss' the Lorax.

Wrath of the Titans, a sequel to the 2010 remake Clash of the Titans, debuted in second place, raising $34.2 million dollars. Julia Roberts' Snow White film Mirror Mirror opened in the third spot, with $19 million.

The highly-publicized documentary Bully pulled in $115,000 in five theaters. The Weinstein Company released the film in unrated form on Friday after it unsuccessfully tried to overturn the R rating assigned to it by the Motion Picture Association of America.

Here are the top 10 movies from Friday through Sunday, with estimated ticket sales:
1. The Hunger Games, $61.1 million
2. Wrath of the Titans, $34.2 million
3. Mirror Mirror, $19 million
4. 21 Jump Street, $15 million
5. Dr. Seuss' the Lorax, $8 million
6. John Carter, $2 million
7. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, $1.3 million
8. Act of Valor, $1 million
9. A Thousand Words, $915,000
10. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, $835,000

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


"Mirror Mirror," "Wrath of the Titans," "Bully" Open Friday

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here's a look at the new movies opening nationwide Friday:

-- Mirror Mirror: The first of two Snow White movies due out this year, this comedic re-telling of the classic tale stars Lily Collins as the title character.  Julia Roberts is the evil Queen, who's taken Snow White's kingdom away from her, and The Social Network actor Armie Hammer plays the Prince.  Mirror Mirror is not to be confused with Snow White and the Huntsman, the Kristen Stewart-Charlize Theron drama opening in June.  Rated PG.  [Click here to read a review]

-- Wrath of the Titans: The sequel to the 2010 Clash of the Titans remake again stars Sam Worthington as Perseus, who's half-man and half-god.  He seeks to rescue a captured Zeus from the Titans.  Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes also star in the film, which is screening in 3D.  Rated PG-13.

And opening in select theaters in New York and Los Angeles:

-- Bully: The Weinstein Company announced earlier this week it would release an unrated version of its teen bullying documentary after it failed to win an appeal of the R rating assigned to the film by the Motion Picture Association of America.  Bully director Lee Hirsch says his hope for the documentary is that "people will see the film, engage in conversation, make a choice to do things differently."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


"Bully" Documentary to Be Released Without Rating

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Bully, the much-publicized documentary about teen bullying, will be released as an unrated film following an unsuccessful attempt by its distributor to overturn its R rating.

The Motion Picture Association of America gave Bully an R rating due to the use of profanity in the film.  The Weinstein Company lost an appeal of the rating by one vote.

The Weinstein Company has announced the unrated version of Bully will be released this Friday in New York City and Los Angeles.

Despite the announcement, Bully director Lee Hirsch told ABC News Radio that he and the Weinstein Company will continue to fight for a PG-13 rating.

"Bully is a film we would actually like our kids to see and think that is appropriate.  Whereas actually all of the sort of violence in films that are often PG-13 is more offensive to us or troubling or is sending the wrong message to our youth," Hirsch said.

An online petition started by a 17-year-old high school student in Michigan to lower the film's rating has received hundreds of thousands of signatures.  In addition, the documentary has received the support of celebrities including Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio