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Tyler Perry Allegedly Stole Plot for “Good Deeds,” Faces Lawsuit

Tlyer Perry is being accused of stealing a plot from author Terrie Donald for his film Good Deeds

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Talented actor/playwright Tyler Perry has had a tough year so far. His massive Atlanta studio caught fire twice and now he’s being sued for allegedly stealing the plot for his film “Good Deeds.”

Author Terri Donald, also known as TLO RED’ness, alleges Perry used the plot from her book titled “Bad Apples Can Be Good Fruit” for the 2012 “Good Deeds” film. She is suing him in a federal court.

The lawsuit, filed in Philadelphia, state that Donald sent Perry’s company a copy of her book years before production on his film began. Donald is seeking $225,000 in initial damages as well as an injunction requiring the company to add a credit for her book in the opening and closing credits. Lastly, the lawsuit calls for the film’s $35 million revenue.

The description of the 200-page “Bad Apples Can Be Good Fruit” reveals striking similarities to “Good Deeds”:

A compelling story of a woman’s struggle to free herself from the past in order to move forward in the future with the man she loves. In this story her past unravels tragedy, murder and her secret. The two come to grips with the truths and decide for the future and what it has to offer them.

Also listed as the defendant in the lawsuit are representatives for Perry and Lions Gate Entertainment.

If found guilty of stealing the plot, will Perry’s legacy as a playwright be challenged?


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33 comments

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  10. As far as my understanding of intellectual property goes ideas are not copyrightable. Even if he did borrow from the idea of her work, he did not do anything illegal. Only actual material — words, lyrics, titles, etc. — from a work that is stolen is considered theft under the law. Ideas themselves are not protected under copyright law. The thinking is that because of the nature of the human mind, heart, and condition, if one idea is given to two people there will be two almost unrecognizable versions of that one idea. Pretty Woman may not exist without Pygmalion, and barely resembles Shaw's work, yet the movie is taken from the same concept. That is the nature of creativity. Borrow, borrow, borrow…and build.

    • Well said, Lonita, but you are expressing the victor's usual attitude relative to the weaker "victim." Why don't I watch your cable access show and just imitate every episode, where I live, where no one is going to see it where you are to expose the theft. And I might do it better than you! That's why people steal. They like what you've done, and are thinking… dag, I wish I had thought of that…. well, I'll do it better. And a thief is born.

  11. Am I the only one that read the part about she sent him a copy of the book a couple years before production? This stuff happens all the time. Often times, creative minds don’t have a means to produce and distribute their talents and have those with a means steal their creativity

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  13. Tiffanie Striccland

    I'm sorry don't believe he would steal a story that so many women face today

  14. ReRi Richardson! There’s no such thing as “you does”, it’s you do or he does, she does, we do. Please get an education; I believe in you.

  15. The diary of a Mad Black Women, had a scene taken from “An Officer and a Gentleman”, with Richard Gere.
    The scene was when at the end, the Mad Black Woman, went to the job, and asked the boyfriend to “Ask me Again”. Just go back and review the tape of an Officer and a Gentleman near the end. There are other movies of Tyler that I have notice certain takes from other films and I have all of his plays and movies. Just my opinion.

  16. ReallY. a law suit for a shit movie anyway.. people are really at their wits end.

  17. There is ALWAYS a chance of reading a book with a similar plot, characters, etc. because so many books have been written over all these years. Plus, there is always the chance of finding others who have experienced the exact same things that we have or are currently experiencing. Just like the lawsuit he had against him in Texas, I don't think this one will make it either.

  18. I'm thinking that if the plot is any good the lawsuit has merit! Just sayin'!

  19. If Spielberg can steal from a Black French writer, why can't Tyler Perry steal, too? I just learned in the past 24 hours that The Wizard of Oz is a Russian story that was stolen and put into print. That's what they do… steal. So, think twice. You know if someone copies your style, it gets on your nerves. Writers recognize their words. The guy will lose unless he can prove that he gave it to him… and the similarities have to be really unique ones. The copyright law provides the Right to Copy. Get informed before you spout off about who could or could not do this or that. It's done ALL of the time.

  20. Jacqueline Pace Manuel

    @Diana – You got that right Sista!

  21. Dr. Cora B. Johnson

    Isn’t it amazing that this book has not been published before now? If this person is in need of money, why not just call Mr. T. and ask him for some instead of using your last penny for that frivilious suite, that would probably do you more good than what it will finally cost you and yours.

    Pray before you do something like this. Our people are so hung up on trying to get rich quick; and off of their own people.

    GOF BLESS MR. PERRY ROR TRYING TO HELP US WITH ALL OF HIS EFFORTS/

    DT]R. CBJ

  22. Jacqueline Pace Manuel

    I don't believe this at all…

  23. Hard to believe because the plot is not that unique! The movie was not that mysterious. Though quite entertaining. I think she may be having a …. Moment!

  24. Tylr does not need to steal any plots. He has enough money and movies and plays out there that I do not believe this. Whatever!

  25. That sounds NOTHING like Good Deeds lol… Murder? They weren’t even a couple until the end. If anything the story is about him not her lol… Plus as much as I like Tyler Perry his plots are a little basic and predictable so I’m sure somebody somewhere can say they thought of it first smh

  26. That sounds NOTHING like Good Deeds lol… Murder? They weren’t even a couple until the end. If anything the story is about him not her lol… Plus as much as I like Tyler Perry his plots are a little basic and predictable so I’m sure somebody somewhere can say they thought of it first smh

  27. This description for the book sounds incredibly vague. Their are literally hundreds of stories that could fit this description. A woman with a troubled past and a bad partner is not original. _Dolores Claiborne_ anyone?

  28. Angie Filmore Thomas

    Wow

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