According to the Internet Movie Database, the “bosses” at A Slice of Pie Productions have claimed that the Wayans Brothers ripped off the idea for White Chicks. Apparently A Slice of Pie Productions offered the Wayans a treatment of a film called “Johnny Bronx” back in 1997. In that treatment, a “fumbling” black FBI agent is turned into a white mobster in order to infiltrate the Mafia. “White Chicks,” according to A Slice of Pie Productions, has some scenes that are “almost identical” to those in its “Johnny Bronx” treatment.
I don’t know which is more scary here: The idea that the Wayans Brothers may not have been able to come up with this crap on their own, or that another production company would actually want to claim credit on the idea. The mind just reels at the implications.
I haven’t seen White Chicks. Frankly, Marlon and Shawn make really ugly women, and nobody with half a brain would fall for their disguises. I’ll wait for the sequel, “Black Chicks,” where Sandra Bullock and Tina Fey don black face and go undercover in the rap world in order to investigate the death of one of its biggest stars. Yeah, that was sarcasm.
Maybe the Wayans did steal the idea, or maybe A Slice of Pie Productions wrote a treatment that wasn’t really even all that close to White Chicks, but saw the Wayans’ film as an opportunity to get its name out there in the public eye. It wouldn’t be the first time either of those scenarios has happened in one form or another, and speaking as someone who has gotten his intellectual property stolen, it sucks to see your work out there for the world to see … with someone else’s name on it. So if the allegations are true, A Slice of Pie Productions has my sympathy, but I have to ask: Why make this claim?
Folks, I understand you may get some fame and a decent amount of money if you prove your case, but look at what you’ll be facing. You will be known as the people behind the idea of White Chicks. Is this how you want A Slice of Pie Productions to become a household name? It’s like getting your fifteen minutes of fame because you accidentally pissed your pants on the “Today” show. Some things just aren’t worth it.
The idea of “Johnny Bronx” is pretty stupid. Let’s face it, it is just as dumb as the idea behind White Chicks and my mythical sequel (and it better stay mythical). If your allegations are true, you should look at this whole thing as a learning opportunity. You should take heed of what the critics are saying, and then say, “Yeah, we may have been ripped off, but the idea was shit anyway. The Wayans may be making bank off it, but there really is no underestimating the stupidity of the American public. We know not to trust the Wayans now, and we will do our best to bring something better to the big screen.” Don’t even say this publicly, though. Don’t let your name be associated with “White Chicks” any further. It will only hurt you in the long run. Suppose it is proven that A Slice of Pie Productions was the creative force behind “White Chicks”? That’s what you’ll be known for until you can top that … and even then you may not be able to put that behind you. It’s like David Duke. He claims to have cleaned up his act, but people will always remember him as that Jew hating guy with the 1970s homosexual cop mustache. (That’s not a slam against homosexuals or cops. Well … at least not against homosexuals. I just remember that mustache being on a homosexual cop in some movie which may or may not have been a porno.)
Is this the legacy you want to leave? Is that what you want attached to the name of your production company? Is this how you want to make your fortune? Is it worth it? Remember: It’s White Chicks. Who the hell liked this movie? I know it did well at the box office, but so did Kangaroo Jack, and only fools admit to seeing that piece of crap.
I can see claiming that Peter Jackson stole your idea for his hobbit films, but White Chicks? Please! That’s career suicide, and it may already be too late to recover. The story is out, and now it’s going to follow you to every meeting, and critics will remember it when they go to review your next film. “Oh yeah, the guys who claimed they came up with the ‘White Chicks’ idea. This will be good,” Ebert will say sarcastically.
Take credit for the good things in life, people. Look at it this way: Would you rather be remembered as the guy who cured cancer or the guy who created it? Exactly.
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Posted on July 22, 2004 in Features by Doug Brunell
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