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ABC's "Abbott Elementary" - Season One

Source: Scott Everett White / Getty

Quinta Brunson and ABC are facing allegations of copyright infringement over the critically acclaimed mockumentary Abbott Elementary. The news comes around the same time that the program is being honored with seven Emmy nominations after its debut season.

According to The Wrap, writer/actor Christine Davis contends that she wrote a show in 2018 called This School Year, which was registered with the copyright office two years later. Per the suit, Davis is looking for “Brunson and ABC turn over all profits they made” from their “knock-off” as well as additional damages.

Davis says she met a minimum of three times with Shavon Sullivan Wright and Cherisse Parks of Blue Park Productions in the summer of 2020. They reportedly discussed shopping This School Year to ABC and Hulu, whereupon Davis learned the companies were in the market for Black-led, female comedies.

Although nothing came of her own meetings with Wright and Parks, Davis says Abbott Elementary popped up one year later and named Brunson as the creator. This supposedly new project used the same “look and feel of the inner-city school, the mockumentary style, unique plot synopsis, set design, and unique character,” the suit reads. “Additionally, the main characters are all stingingly and substantially similar. From the triad of young teachers whose roles are nearly identical.”

Radar Online first reported this story last Wednesday, one day after Brunson tweeted her gratitude about Abbott Elementary‘s seven Emmy nods. “Crying shaking and throwing up has new meaning to me because I real life did all three,” the 32-year-old writer/performer posted on Tuesday. “Still speechless. Congrats to the entire staff and cast of Abbott Elementary. And I want to share this moment with all of the people who watch and love the show. Emmy nominated, baby!” Neither Brunson nor ABC have released any official statement about Davis’ allegations yet.