An Oklahoma prisoner has sued Tyler Perry and Jamie Foxx for allegedly stealing his idea for the movie “Skank Robbers.”
Shamont Lyle Sapp says the idea of bringing the characters Wanda Reid (Foxx), Sheneneh Jenkins (Martin Lawrence) and Madea (Perry) together in a comedy-action film was originally his, and he wants credit for it. Sapp says he pitched the idea to Foxx and Perry, but was cut out of the production.
The “Skank Robbers” skit, which aired during the 2009 BET Awards, showed the Sheneneh and Wanda characters robbing banks, brandishing guns and jumping from helicopters, while maintaining the vintage comical traits of the ghetto-fabulous beauty queens. The storyline calls Sheneneh the “brains” of the operation and Wanda, the “brawn,”
Sapp, who is currently serving time for 10 bank robberies, is suing Fox Broadcasting and producer David Zuckerman for a total of $4 million, according to Loop21.com.
He is suing Perry and Foxx for $1 million each.
The Skank Robbers skit for the 2009 BET Awards came out a month before Sapp claimed to have pitched the idea. Sapp’s idea for the movie was to have Madea being held hostage in a mental institution, while her captor negotiates with police. His version is a non-comical one with no jokes at all, according to TMZ.
It’s been over ten years since the wacky characters were seen on television sets, but according to Martin Lawrence, fans’ initial response to the skit prompted production. During an interview on the “Ellen” Show, Lawrence confirmed production of the project, saying that fans loved the initial skit.
Lawrence said Foxx called him with the idea to get the two characters together. Jamie Foxx said the movie has been officially written in a Hollywood.com interview.
“We will officially start it in the next few months,” Foxx excitedly said. He also added that Martin Lawrence is back like never before.
The 2009 screening called Sheneneh the “original mad black woman” and the next, “Femme Fatale.”
Sheneneh Jenkins is best known from Martin Lawrence’s legendary comedy sitcom, “Martin.” Originally played by Lawrence, she was a loud, rude hairdresser who lived across the hall from Lawrence’s character.
Wanda Reid was a character played by Foxx on Keenan Ivory Wayan’s groundbreaking comedy-skit series “In Living Color” during the early 90s.
Here is the idea, which Sapp says was stolen from him: