Greenleaf has been a major hit for the OWN network, but, according to a screenwriter and a pastor, it’s also stolen. In a lawsuit filed today in federal court in California, Shannan Lynette Wynn and Pastor Lester Eugene Barrie claim that Greenleaf is actually just a rip-off of a show they’d pitched to the network in 2014 called Justice & Glory. Both shows center around a powerful African-American family and their megachurch.
The writing team say that after pitching to the network they were given feedback, but eventually told their idea had been rejected. Later, the suit claims the duo was shocked to see their work on TV, and that they even “used the same character names, and copied verbatim unique and novel story lines, themes, subplots and the overall tone of the show.” Well, that doesn’t look great.
The show on OWN is credited as a creation of Lost and Six Feet Underwriter Craig Wright, with Oprah Winfrey as executive producer. It’s been one of the network’s most successful shows and will debut its third season this summer. Oprah has yet to or comment on being sued, though it is her most presidential move yet.