Bourne Co. sues Fox for 'Pinocchio' tune
NEW YORK — The publisher of “When You Wish Upon A Star” is suing Fox Broadcasting for an episode of “Family Guy” that includes a parody of the song.
The episode, titled “When You Wish Upon a Weinstein,” included what the song’s publisher called “a thinly-veiled copy” of the music titled “I Need a Jew.”
The song, originally recorded for Disney’s 1940 classic “Pinocchio,” is owned by Bourne Co., a New York-based music publisher which licenses a catalog that includes Charlie Chaplin, Bob Wills and Langston Hughes.
The episode centered on “Family Guy” patriarch Peter Griffin’s belief that he needed to hire a Jew to sort out his finances. The song lyrics were:
“Nothing else has worked so far/ So I’ll wish upon a star/ Wondrous shining speck of light/ I need a Jew.”
Bourne alleges that Fox harmed the reputation of “When You Wish Upon A Star” by associating the song “with a vile and anti-Semitic message.”
Twentieth TV said: ”We have not yet seen the complaint and have no comment at this time.”
While the episode was created in 2000 as part of the second season of “Family Guy,” but Fox decided not to air the episode on broadcast TV. The episode was first aired in 2003 by Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim after it was released into syndication.
The episode was also included on home video by Fox Home Entertainment in 2003 as part of the “Family Guy” season three DVD set.
It’s the second time “Family Guy” has been sued this year.
Carol Burnett lost a claim with Fox over “Family Guy” earlier this year after she sued for a parody of one of her songs from “The Carol Burnett Show.”
The episode, which portrayed Burnett as a part-time janitor in a porn shop, was deemed protected under fair use because it parodied a public figure.