‘Black-ish’ Creator Kenya Barris and ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Producer Will Packer Accused of Stealing Concept for ‘Girls Trip’

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Kenya Barris, who created “black-ish,” and Will Packer, who produced films like “Straight Outta Compton,” are being accused of stealing the idea for the movie “Girls Trip,” starring Tiffany Haddish, Queen Latifah and others.

The person who made the claim is named Milford Jeremy McDonald, and he sued Packer, Barris, as well as Universal Pictures, the studio behind the 2017 film. McDonald said he’s the rightful owner of “Girls Trip” and the true creator.

Kenya Barris (left), Will Packer (right) and others are being accused of stealing the idea for the film “Girls Trip.” (Photo: Todd Williamson / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images)

The screenwriter Tracy Oliver, who co-wrote “Girls Trip” with Barris, is also named in the suit, as is the director and co-producer of the film, Malcolm D. Lee.

According to McDonald, he met a man named Maani Edwards in 2009, who at the time was Universal’s vice president, and his job was to solicit “projects to be used in motion pictures.”

McDonald said he played Edwards some of his music during that meeting, and one of the tracks was called “Girl’s Trip.”

The plaintiff said the former vice president expressed interest in not only using the song for a film but its entire concept. McDonald claimed Edwards said he’d reach out to him so he could purchase the rights to the song, as well as the idea.

Then fast-forward to July 2017, and McDonald said he never heard from Edwards, and learned that Universal was putting out a movie called “Girls Trip.”

And although he wasn’t specific, McDonald said there are “several similarities” between the film and the song he played in 2009.

At this point, the plaintiff is seeking monetary damages and wants all of the profits from the film. According to Box Office Mojo, “Girls Trip” made over $115 million in the U.S. alone and cost about $19 million to make.

None of the defendants has responded publicly to the suit at this time.

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