A screenwriter for the celebrity-voiced Inspired By... The Bible Experience: New Testament Audio CD has now filed suit against the publishing company, claiming that they did not pay her in full.
Represented by the Cochran Firm, founded by the famed defense attorney Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr., Paula Neiman is demanding to be compensated for her complete script that was written for the audio Bible.
According to an agreement she signed, the writer was to receive five percent of gross receipts and everything that arose from the project. It is suspected that the producers cut her out due to overwhelming sales they had not foreseen in the beginning.
"I worked fulltime plus overtime hours for months, committing myself to the terms of the agreement," said Neiman in a statement.
Released by Zondervan, The Bible Experience was voiced by over 200 prominent actors including Blair Underwood (Jesus), Samuel L. Jackson (God), Angela Bassett (Esther), Denzel Washington (Solomon), and Cuba Gooding Jr. (Judas). It gained immense success, landing as the No. 1 audio Bible in all history.
The project is also a nominee for Outstanding Gospel Artist - Traditional or Contemporary in the 38th NAACP Image Awards being held Friday at 8 p.m. on FOX.
Neiman finished the script for The Bible Experience, which she registered with the Writer Guild of American in 2004, sometime in October of the same year. Following this, she was told by executives that the project had been abandoned, and that she was consequently going to receive no payment.
Neiman accuses the executives of cutting her loose due to the overwhelming positive response from the many mega-celebrities who signed to the project, which she feels was a result of her script.
"The business people behind a project; even a faith-based project, are ultimately still business people, argued Neiman in the statement. When a great deal of money is involved, even for a lovely project, people might not be immune to corruption."
The screenwriter says she still has the original script and had saved all her work materials, including emails and correspondence items exchanged with the project's executives.
Neiman will be represented by Randy McMurray of The Cochran Firm-Los Angeles.
"One of the key reasons I got involved in this project is because of its potential to motivate and inspire people; myself included, concluded Neiman in the statement. I have become sadly disenchanted by the way I have been treated by people I trusted on a project that I believed in.