Found Footage Fest guys being sued over local morning show prank, need help with legal fees
When not running the great Found Footage Festival, Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher have also become expert prank artists, passing themselves off to local morning shows as cookbook authors, yo-yo experts and, most recently, fitness duo Chop & Steele. After appearing on a handful of morning shows, they then post video compilations showing how easy it is to get on news programs that seem more concerned with filling air time than making sure their guests are legit. (Watch all three below.) Unfortunately, one of those stations they pranked has decided to sue:
Last November and again in January, we appeared on local morning news shows as a strongman duo called Chop & Steele . We lifted cinder blocks, chopped sticks in half with our bare hands, and crushed baskets with our feet. And in March, we posted short snippets from some of these segments online, hoping to entertain and make a point about how easy it is to get on certain news programs who aren’t doing basic fact checking. Then on April 13th, we found out in the New York Post that the parent company of one of the news stations, Gray Television, had filed a lawsuit against us in federal court, claiming copyright infringement, fraud, and conspiracy.
These claims are totally baseless and we’ve secured a great lawyer, Anderson Duff (that’s his real name!), who’s working well below his rate to take on these corporate bullies who are trying to suppress our criticism of the news. But even at discount rates, our legal bills are piling up and are expected to reach $100,000 by the end of the trial. We are confident we will win this important First Amendment case but we are suddenly faced with a very real possibility that we’ll bankrupt ourselves in the process. In order to continue doing what we do and secure the future of the Found Footage Festival, we need to raise $80,000.
Joe and Nick have launched a GoFundMe to help cover their legal bills for this dumb lawsuit. Help them out if you can.
Watch Joe & Nick’s media pranks, and watch the hosts of The Talk discuss the lawsuit, below.