‘Titanic’ actor sues studio over back pay

An actor who claims he was not fairly paid after being bumped from a background artist to a performer in the 1997 film Titanic is suing Twentieth Century Fox for back payment.

Vi Jay, who filed his suit to Los Angeles Superior Court in February, has said he was promised $60 per day for background work in Titanic. However, after arriving on the set in Mexico in 1996, director James Cameron moved Jay to the position of ‘Spindley Porter’ opposite Kathy Bates. In his scene, Jay is shown carrying luggage and reciting the line “Yes. Yes ma’am.”

The 1997 film, staring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, is the second highest grossing film in cinema history, and as of 2012, has grossed over $2 billion worldwide. The only other film to have grossed over $2 billion worldwide is Avatar, also directed by James Cameron.

Although he was not a member of the Screen Actors Guild, Jay says the union should have informed him of the role change and given him an opportunity to join. If this had happened, the suit claims Jay could have enjoyed royalties from foreign screening, re-releases and television airings of the film.

Jay is suing for fraud by concealment, common law appropriation of likeness and right to publicity. He is seeking damages at a trial by jury. Twentieth Century Fox have yet to comment on the situation.

The full lawsuit can be read here.

Read the article at focusfilm.co.uk


About writingsuzanne

History graduate. Freelance writer and reviewer. Passionate about film, theatre and music (film soundtracks!).
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