Mark Wahlberg And Dwayne Johnson Sued For Stealing ‘Ballers’ Plot
Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and HBO were all sued on Friday for allegedly stealing the idea for the football series “Ballers.” The lawsuit was filed in federal court by Everette Silas and Sherri Littleton, who claim they came up with the premise for “Ballers” in 2007, and in 2009 were in discussions with Wahlberg, Johnson and their manager to develop the series.
That unmade project was similarly centered around the world of football, and was known as “Off Season.” Silas and Littleton allege their deal with Wahlberg and Johnson fell apart because they were denied a “Created By” credit.
“Ballers” premiered on HBO this past summer to big ratings, and the show has already been renewed for a second season. The series is produced by Wahlberg and Johnson, and the latter also stars as a retired NFL player who becomes a sports agent.
Silas and Littleton maintaining in their lawsuit that “Ballers” plagiarized a number of plot points from “Off Season,” including both shows being set in Miami, revolving around the lives of football players on and off the field, and featuring main characters who are African-American. The two plaintiffs further allege that the title “Ballers” was also the name of one of their episodes.
Gossip Cop has reached out to reps for Wahlberg and Johnson, but have yet to hear back. A spokesman for HBO tells Gossip Cop, “We are confident the case has no merit.”