Disney settles lawsuit with film financier TSG Entertainment

Disney has settled a lawsuit with a major financial partner that accused the Burbank entertainment giant over the summer of self-dealing and breach of contract.

Attorneys for Disney and film-financing firm TSG Entertainment jointly filed a request for dismissal in Los Angeles Superior Court on Jan. 5, indicating that the dueling parties have agreed to end their legal dispute. While details of the settlement have not been disclosed, representatives for both Disney and TSG confirmed Wednesday to the The Times that “the matter has been resolved.”

Last August, TSG sued Disney for allegedly failing to pay the financier what it was owed, licensing TSG-backed films for less than they were worth and wrongfully charging TSG millions of dollars in distribution fees.

Additionally, the firm alleged in its complaint that Disney cut “sweetheart” deals that landed TSG-backed movies on its own streaming services in an effort to draw more subscribers while significantly shortchanging the investor.

Among the high-profile titles TSG said it had financed for Disney’s 20th Century Studios were 2022’s “Avatar: The Way of Water,” 2022’s “The Banshees of Inisherin” and winner of the 2018 Oscar for best picture “The Shape of Water,” as well as various installments in the X-Men and Deadpool franchises. In total, TSG said it had invested more than $3.3 billion with Disney and funded more than 140 films distributed by 20th Century.

“The pejorative term ‘Hollywood Accounting’ refers to the opaque and creative methods frequently employed by major television and film studios to cheat those who share in the profits of a television series or film out of their full contracted-for shares,” the TSG lawsuit read.

Disney and 20th Century “have tried to use nearly every trick in the Hollywood Accounting playbook to deprive [TSG] out of hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Times staff writer Brian Contreras contributed to this report.


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