`Jackass’ Filmmaker Bam Margera Claims Unlawful Firing

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Although an earlier tentative ruling showed he was leaning toward dismissing part of “Jackass” film creator Bam Margera’s lawsuit alleging he was wrongfully fired from the upcoming “Jackass Forever” movie, a judge today took the defense motion under submission.

Margera maintains that Hollywood studios and producers fired him so they could steal the popular and lucrative movie franchise and not compensate him.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert S. Draper heard arguments on the motion, then said he wanted to review the issues further.

In a tentative ruling issued Thursday, Draper said he was inclined to toss the 42-year-old Margera’s two claims for injunctive relief, but not the unfair competition and copyright infringement causes of action that the defendants also sought to have dismissed under the state’s anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) law. That law is intended to prevent people from using courts, and potential threats of a lawsuit, to intimidate those who are exercising their First Amendment rights.

Margera and his company, Bam Margera Inc., filed the lawsuit Aug. 9 against Paramount Pictures, MTV, Jeffrey Tremaine, Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze, Dickhouse Entertainment, Gorilla Flicks and others. The complaint alleges “inhumane, abusive and discriminatory treatment of plaintiff Margera” and says he was wrongfully fired from the “Jackass” franchise he created.

The suit’s other allegations include retaliation, fraud, violations of the state Fair Employment and Housing and Unruh Civil Rights acts, breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Margera seeks millions of dollars in damages and wanted preliminary and permanent injunctions preventing the film’s scheduled Feb. 4 release from going forward, but the judge said in his tentative ruling that the injunctive claims are not recognized as causes of action in California.

According to the suit, in March 2020, Paramount completed a contract with Margera for a fourth “Jackass” film and conditioned Margera’s participation and compensation on his adherence to a wellness agreement that Jonze and Knoxville had coerced him into signing while he was in a rehabilitation facility in 2019.

Margera signed the agreement after the pair told him that if he refused, he would be cut from all future installments of the “Jackass” films, the suit alleges. The wellness agreement obligated Margera to complete multiple daily drug tests at any hour of the day or night, the suit says.

The defendants knew Margera took Adderall to treat his attention deficit disorder and that he had been on the medication for several years, but Paramount fired him without a chance to explain, according to the lawsuit. The suit also states Margera was the only “Jackass” star terminated for taking medication that he was prescribed.

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