A&E Networks and Ice-T have been sued by Roy Colbert of Los Angeles who alleges they used his idea for a TV docu-drama about gangs. Colbert’s suit, filed today in LA Superior Court, contends A&E and Ice-T breached an implied contract under which Colbert on August 7, 2008 provided to the network’s director of nonfiction and alternative programming Colleen Conway an idea for a documentary drama series focused on stopping gang violence in Los Angeles County and making peace between warring gangs. Banging Peace was the working title for his idea, Colbert says in the suit, based on his own experience documenting efforts to stop gang violence starting in 2004. Colbert says the idea was for the series to travel among gang neighborhoods in Los Angeles County to find out what would produce peace among them and to have a team work with the gang members to resolve their disagreements.
Later on, Colbert claims he also provided his Banging Peace idea to Ice-T (aka Tracey Lauren Marrow) through Ice-T’s manager Chris Smith. Colbert maintains it was “fully and clearly understood” that the Banging Peace idea was to be used only if Colbert was involved with and fully compensated for any resulting TV show. Colbert alleges the defendants used his idea to create a show called The Peacemaker, which he claims is identical to his Banging Peace idea. He says The Peacemaker aired as a five part docudrama on A&E beginning on December 16, 2010 with the last episode airing December 30, 2010. Colbert says in the suit he learned about The Peacemaker August 24, 2010. Colbert claims he performed all obligations to A&E, Ice-T and others associated with the program except those he was prevented or excused from performing. Colbert seeks an accounting and compensation, plus interest and court costs. You can read the lawsuit here.