In 1985, the Chicago Bears players participated in a music video for the song the “Super Bowl Shuffle.” The video was realized just three months before they won Super Bowl XX, and became a phenomenon, earning a gold record and even a Grammy nomination.
Six of the performers are now suing the widow of the president of the record label, who now owns the rights to the video, among others. The complaint alleges that the defendants do not have permission to commercially exploit their identities, images, names, likenesses, voices and performances.
The complaint seeks to have a constructive trust established for charitable purposes that the plaintiffs select in order to continue the Super Bowl Shuffle’s charitable objective. The complaint further discloses that the players were approached by Richard Meyer, the president of Red Label Records, in 1985 to make the video to raise money to give to Chicago’s neediest families. While it is reported that close to $300,000 was donated to the Chicago Community Trust, many of the performers have voiced their criticism over just how much of the profits from the Super Bowl Shuffle were going to charity.
The complaint states that it was just recently discovered that the label had assigned interest in the video over to Richard Meyer in 1986, which then went to his wife upon his death in 1992. The players allege that the assignment was a breach of contract.
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