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'Wish Upon A Star' Publisher Sues 'Family Guy'
A publishing company that owns the rights to "When You Wish Upon a Star" filed a federal lawsuit yesterday (Oct. 3) in New York against Fox and the producers and creator of "Family Guy" over an episodA publishing company that owns the rights to "When You Wish Upon a Star" filed a federal lawsuit yesterday (Oct. 3) in New York against Fox and the producers and creator of "Family Guy" over an episode they claim infringes on the rights of the classic tune.
The lawsuit filed by Bourne claims that the ditty, "I Need a Jew" -- sung by the show's patriarch, Peter Griffin, in the episode "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" -- is a "thinly veiled copy" of the song made famous in Disney's 1940 classic "Pinocchio."
Griffin sings the song in a elaborate musical production after deciding he needs to hire a Jew to handle his money.
The episode was set to air in 2000 but wasn't broadcast until 2003, when it was shown on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. The defendants include creator Seth MacFarlane, the show's composer Walter Murphy, Fuzzy Door Prods. and Cartoon Network.
"If you listen to the structure of the lyrics, the song, the name of the episode and how (Peter's) singing out the window to the stars, there's no question they were using the song," Bourne's attorney Paul Fakler said.
Said Fox TV, "We have not yet seen the complaint and have no comment at this time."
Comedian Carol Burnett filed suit this year after "Family Guy" lampooned her in an episode. That lawsuit was dismissed.