On Monday, Fela Kuti biographer Charles Moore filed a lawsuit demanding that the Broadway performance and all other performances of the Tony Award winning musical “Fela!” be blocked. Moore’s legal team also sought over $5 million in damages and an injunction to stop all advertising, product sales and promotion of the show. The musical based on the life of its eponymous Nigerian Afrobeat superstar gained critical acclaim, and has also been backed by Jay-Z, Will Smith and ?uestlove of The Roots.
The lawsuit claims entire portions of Moore’s biography, Fela: Cette Putain de Vie and its English translation, Fela This Bitch of a Life, were copied verbatim and used for the musical’s script.
“The idea he is now suing the production that a year ago he was praising seems weird to me,” producer Richard Kornberg said.
Moore contends that he was offered $4,000 for both the rights to his book and for the book to be used in connection with any audiovisual production—an offer he and his team contend they rejected.