Spike Lee v. SpikeTV
ANNOUNCER: It is active, smart, and contemporary with a personality that is aggressive and irreverent. It is TV made for men.
SPIKE LEE: Cut!
IRWIN KRAMER: Spike Lee tried to halt production claiming that Spike TV stole his persona, so he showed his aggressive and irreverent side by suing VIACOM to block the use of his name.
The network's president confessed that Lee’s style inspired him to choose the name, but he also claimed inspiration from other role models like Spike, the Macho Vampire in Buffy, The Vampire Slayer.
Would the court drive a spike through Spike TV?
To VIACOM’s surprise, the court stalled its premier forcing Spike TV to stay tuned for a later trial. The network complained that this delay would cost it millions, so the judge ordered Lee to post a multimillion-dollar bond covering these losses just in case Lee lost a trial.
Rather than deposit 2.5 million dollars, Lee cut his own losses and settled the case.