'The Cleveland Show' Sued By Village People Cop
Original Village People star Victor Willis is threatening to sue Fox Broadcasting Company executives over suggestions he provided the voiceover for an "offensive" episode of animated comedy "The Cleveland Show."
The In The Navy singer claims a press release falsely stated he was involved in the show, which poked fun at his former band. Willis' spokeswoman Linda Smith tells WENN, "Victor was offended by the episode and says he would never have agreed to do a voiceover for such an offensive portrayal of the Village People police character originally created by him."
The episode, titled Buried Pleasure, aired on February 14th and featured the animated Village People cop parading around in shorts and "eventually jumping on the backside of a male after effeminately yelling, 'Dog pile'."
Smith adds, "Victor is appalled by the show's portrayal. He never wore shorts as the original Village People lead singer and cop. So how does Fox justify such an outright false portrayal, while publishing to the world that Victor Willis did the voiceover - and now it's all over the internet, clearly suggesting to the public that the cop character portrayed in the show is Victor Willis. He does not endorse the show or its portrayal. Moreover, he did not do that insulting and effeminate Cleveland Show voiceover."
In a cease and desist letter of intent to sue, issued by Willis, the singer demands an apology from Fox, immediate correction of the erroneous press release, suspension of further broadcast of The Cleveland Show's Buried Pleasure episode, pending corrections, and an unspecified amount in monetary damages.
The litigious star is also currently suing the current incarnation of the Village People for unauthorized use of his voice and image, and greeting cards firm Hallmark for imitating his voice on sound cards. The cases are currently pending.
Last year, Willis settled a lawsuit against the organizers of a college football half-time concert, which featured an offshoot of the Y.M.C.A hit-makers. He insisted a group using the band's name had no right to include his image while performing under the moniker at the 2009 Brut Sun Bowl, which was broadcast across America at the beginning of the year.
Willis has not performed with the Village People since 1984.