AceShowbiz - Comedian Faizon Love is taking Universal Studios bosses to court for racial discrimination, 11 years after he was cut out of the movie poster for his film "Couples Retreat".
The actor had a supporting role in the 2009 romantic comedy, which starred Vince Vaughn, Malin Akerman, Jon Favreau, and Jason Bateman, and featured in the background of the initial promo poster with his onscreen love interest, played by Kali Hawk.
The pair portrayed the only non-white couple in the project, about four couples attempting to repair their relationships at a luxurious resort.
However, Love and Hawk were removed from the "Couples Retreat" poster when the film was released outside of North America, and at the time, the actors received an apology from Universal chiefs for causing offence, and they promised to pull the ad.
However, Love claims that never happened, and in July (20), he realised the image is still widely used to market the movie internationally.
He is now suing over the snub, filing suit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday (25Nov20).
"This film was a big money-maker for Universal, but instead of honoring my work and my contract, the studio chose to render me invisible to billions of moviegoers around the world," he stated in the legal papers.
Love goes on to accuse Universal executives of reneging on a promise to offer him future lucrative TV and film gigs - a tactic he now claims was simply used to keep him quiet during the original controversy, reports Variety.
"What Universal Studios had initially portrayed to Mr. Love as an unintentional act of oversight and carelessness was, we now know, an intentional act of disparate and discriminatory treatment by Universal Studios...," his lawyers added.
Love explains he is launching the legal action to seek redress on behalf of other black actors mistreated by Hollywood bosses.
"They have not only hurt me financially, they have hurt me in a deeper way by dismissing me because of my Blackness - and they have hurt all Black performers by continuing to perpetuate racism in the movie industry," Love wrote in a statement.
"I want to ensure that future generations don't have to endure the racism and whitewashing that I have experienced."
Love is suing for fraud, breach of contract, and violation of California's fair employment act and civil rights law.
Studio representatives have yet to respond to the legal action.