Bam Margera sues ‘Jackass Forever’ team, alleging discrimination and unlawful firing
Bam Margera is suing Paramount Pictures, MTV Networks, Johnny Knoxville, Jeff Tremaine, Spike Jonze and others, alleging he was discriminated against and unfairly fired from “Jackass Forever” so that the studios and producers could steal the movie franchise, his attorneys said Monday.
Margera also wants an injunction against the film’s release. “Jackass Forever,” which is currently in postproduction, is scheduled to hit U.S. theaters Oct. 22.
The 41-year-old performer’s firing was reported by TMZ in February 2021, though according to the lawsuit, Paramount fired him in August 2020. In February, he posted videos in which he discussed previous suicidal ideation and slammed his “Jackass” cohorts for shutting him out of the stunts-focused movie.
“Margera is not only the star of the television show and film franchise that has made Paramount and MTV hundreds of millions of dollars to date, but a co-writer and producer who came up with the vast majority of the franchise’s most memorable content,” the lawsuit says.
“Indeed, Jackass would have been impossible without Margera, as more than half of the persons featured on the franchise constitute his [original] CKY Crew, or his immediate family.”
The lawsuit alleges Knoxville, Tremaine and Jonze took advantage of Margera and inflicted emotional distress while he was in rehab in 2019, forcing him to sign a “Wellness Agreement” or be excluded from future “Jackass” projects, his primary source of income.
“The Wellness Agreement took its toll on Margera. For months, Margera was obligated to complete daily drug tests, multiple times per day, both scheduled and unscheduled, requests for which could come in at any hour of the day or night. Margera was subject to countless breathalyzer and urinalysis tests, which he submitted to and passed repeatedly for several months without objection or incident. However, in doing so, his ability to travel, work, and effectively live life were completely constricted,” the lawsuit says.
The filing says Margera also was forced to take a cocktail of psychoactive medications prescribed by a medical team from Paramount, the film’s distributor and one of its producers.
According to the lawsuit, the performer did not violate the agreement. “Rather, Defendants’ wrongful termination of Margera stems from the fact that one of the numerous drug tests Margera was forced to submit to demonstrated that he was taking prescription Adderall. Defendants knew full well that Margera had to take Adderall to treat his attention deficit disorder.”
Johnny Knoxville is a performer known for celebrating stunts, pratfalls and naughty high jinks, especially when they’re supremely silly and not particularly skillful.
Margera’s suit also accuses the defendants of fraud, saying, “Defendants at all times intended to employ Margera long enough that he would develop ideas for content, stunts and pranks featured in the movie, and then terminate him once those ideas were received, and refuse to pay him anything for his work.”
The lawsuit states that Margera is protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act due to his bipolar disorder and other conditions and alleges that the studio and others engaged in discriminatory practices against him.
In part, Margera is seeking damages, court costs, restitution for the defendants’ use of Margera’s intellectual property and an enjoinder preventing the release of “Jackass Forever.”
Reps for Tremaine, Knoxville and their company, Dickhouse Productions, did not respond immediately to a request for comment, nor did a representative for Paramount Pictures.
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