Former Jackass cast member Bam Margera is suing Johnny Knoxville, MTV, and Paramount after being “illegally fired” from Jackass Forever production. Margera claims a “Wellness Agreement” was used against him, resulting in him being fired.
Jackass Forever is the fourth film in the popular Jackass franchise. Each film consists of the cast members engaging in dangerous and sometimes disgusting stunts with a complete disregard for personal safety. Over the years, fans have grown accustomed to seeing key cast members like Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Wee Man, and Bam Margera. However, Margera does not appear in Jackass Forever, and he has now filed a lawsuit claiming he was illegally fired from the production.
As reported by CinemaBlend, Margera filed a lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court against Paramount Pictures, MTV, Jeffery Tremaine, Phillip John “P.J” Clapp (Johnny Knoxville), Adam H. Spiegel (Spike Jonze), Dickhouse Entertainment, Gorilla Flicks, and others. The lawsuit’s purpose is to “seek redress for Defendants’ inhumane, abusive and discriminatory treatment of Plaintiff Margera, and for their wrongful termination of him from the Jackass franchise he created.”
Margera is seeking millions in compensation and is pursuing an injunction that could prevent Jackass Forever from releasing on Oct. 22. Margera also released a statement explaining his thoughts and motivations behind the lawsuit.
“I am pissed-off, angry, hurt, and shattered that Johnny (Knoxville), Jeff (Tremaine), Spike (Jonze) and the studios and producers ripped off my creativity, content, and stunts to make this movie, fired me without justification, and refuse to pay for my work; I created this franchise before any of these guys ever got involved. My lawsuit isn’t just about compensation. It’s about treating people with mental health and addiction issues in an honest manner and not taking advantage of their disabilities to rip them off.”
Knoxville and other cast members have avoided discussing the reasoning behind Margera not appearing in Jackass Forever. However, he did state that it is important to him that Margera is “getting healthy.” The relationship between Margera and the rest of the cast and crew appears to have dissolved, and Jeff Tremaine has gone far as filing a restraining order against Margera.
Margera claims that he was forced to sign a Wellness Agreement by Knoxville and Jonze and that he would not be a part of any future Jackass films if he did not sign. The agreement required Margera to partake in daily drug tests completed randomly throughout the day, among other requirements. Margera claims that despite following the agreement, it was used against him as justification for his firing. Eric M. George, one of Margera’s lawyers, explained how the agreement was “psychological torture” and that Paramount’s “inhumane treatment of Margera cannot be tolerated.”
It is unclear how this lawsuit will affect the release of Jackass Forever. If everything goes according to plan, Jackass Forever will release in theaters on Oct. 22.
Every major streaming service tends to keep the majority of viewing data under wraps, but at least Netflix semi-regularly offer concrete figures that give an indication as to what’s been hitting big on the platform, even if the announcements only tend to be made when the movie or TV show in question is an unqualified success.
Amazon Prime and HBO Max have never even offered a shred of genuine viewership habits, so we’re left to take each company at their word. We’re to believe that Coming 2 America scored the biggest opening weekend of streaming for the entire pandemic era because Amazon told us so, just like we have no choice but to buy into the fact The Suicide Squad has become HBO Max’s second most-watched hybrid release ever behind only Mortal Kombat, as touted by WarnerMedia exec Andy Forssell.
“As the country faces new challenges due to the COVID variant, we’re happy to continue to offer fans the option of viewing movies in their homes. Many chose to do just that as Suicide Squad emerged as the second most viewed film over an opening weekend on HBO Max since we began day-and-date releases with theaters.”
Is that even really something to shout about, though? Simon McQuoid’s video game reboot cost $55 million compared to the DCEU blockbuster’s $185 million, and while both were R-rated, The Suicide Squad only opened $3 million higher at the box office and was viewed as a disappointment with theaters operating at 85% capacity, much higher than when Mortal Kombat arrived at the end of April.
It feels like a half-hearted pat on the back to congratulate The Suicide Squad for doing the best it could under the circumstances, because there’s no way the R-rated adventure is going to see a single penny of profit. It barely topped Mortal Kombat‘s domestic opening weekend and couldn’t even dislodge it from the all-time HBO Max rankings, so at this stage the boardroom have a much firmer argument for giving the latter a sequel over the former.