The folks at MGM and Warner Bros. provided BET.com with a statement regarding the lawsuit:
"This opportunistic lawsuit falsely attempts to discredit the gifted writers, producers, and directors who brought the Barbershop characters and stories to life over the last fourteen years, and improperly threatens to block audiences from the highly-anticipated April 15 release of Barbershop: The Next Cut. We will vigorously defend against these frivolous claims and seek all appropriate remedies from Mr. Dickerson for filing his exploitative suit."
Barbershop 3: The Next Cut is scheduled to hit theaters on Friday, but not if a man named J.D. Lawrence has his way. Lawrence has sued the producers of the franchise for allegedly stealing his material and is asking a judge to stop the release of the highly-anticipated film.
Lawrence, a playwright, claims the Barbershop movies stole from his play Scissors, which toured the country from 1998 until 2001. Scissors apparently also takes place in a shop in a Black neighborhood and focuses on the importance of the shop to the community. The play also features an elderly barber, like Cedric the Entertainer's "Eddie," and plenty of jokes about "white folks." He claims there's also an extended sequence about the OJ Simpson murder trial ... this sounds like any barbershop in America.
The playwright wants $20 million from Warner Brothers, who distributed the film, and Showtime, who produced the spin-off series, before Friday. It's not clear why Lawrence waited all these years to speak up, though it could have something to do with waiting for the franchise to grow in order to score a big payday.
Watch our exclusive interview with Barbershop stars Ice Cube and Cedric the Entertainer below:
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