Actors Christopher and Kyle Massey have filed a lawsuit trying to block Bristol Palin’s upcoming docureality series for Lifetime Bristol Palin: Life’s A Tripp, which premieres tonight. The brothers, along with their mother Angel, are suing the series producer Associated Television International and its head, David McKenzie, who serves as an executive producer on Life’s A Tripp. Palin herself is not a defendant. The Masseys are accusing ATI of copyright infringement, breach of contract and unfair competition, seeking a permanent injunction and monetary damages. The Masseys claim they own the show, for which they were not properly compensated or credited for.
The Masseys, who are not involved in the Lifetime series, were to star with Palin in another reality series, also for ATI. That series, which was greenlighted by Lifetime sibling Bio last year, was eventually scrapped. It was to chronicle Palin’s move from Alaska to Los Angeles with her son, Tripp, to work at a small charity while living with her then-good friends Chris and Kyle Massey. (Palin became close with Kyle during their time together on Dancing With The Stars.) Palin ultimately opted to leave Los Angeles and move back to Alaska, where Life’s A Tripp is primarily set. It focuses on how Bristol adjusts to life in Alaska with her son Tripp and her interactions with with her parents, Sarah Palin and Todd, and siblings. But the first two episodes chronicle Bristol’s stint in Los Angeles as she works for a charity and cares for her son with some help from sister Willow.
In the filing, the Masseys claim they originated and helped McKenzie and his company produce the original Palin series for Bio but then “McKenzie and his team cut out the Masseys and fraudulently re-packaged the show solely as Bristol Palin: Life’s A Tripp, even though the concept is the same idea originally created and produced by the Masseys.” Said Angel Massey, “We created the show, registered the show and did all the leg work to bring this idea to TV and to the defendants, who stole our concept.” ATI said it doesn’t comment on pending litigation.