Frank Sivero who played Frankie Carbone in the movie Goodfellas filed a lawsuit yesterday claiming that The Simpsons have stolen his likeness and used it without his permission. Sivero claims that the character Louie is based on Sivero and his portrayal of Carbone in Goodfellas.
Sivero’s lawsuit seeks, get this, $250 million in damages because he says it’s obvious he was the basis for the Louie character. He says that in 1989 he lived in a Sherman Oaks apartment building next door to two of The Simpsons writers and that they were very familiar with who Sivero was (Sivero had also been in The Godfather movies). He claims additionally that he met Simpsons producer James L. Brooks at a party and that Brooks had promised him that they would work together on a project.
The project never happened but in 1991, shortly after the events alleged in the lawsuit, the Louie character made his first appearance on The Simpsons. Louie appeared in 16 different episodes which, if Sivero wins and gets his asking amount, works out to about $16.7 million per appearance. That’s not bad work if you can get it.
So what do you think? Here is a comparison of the two. I don’t know. I’ve read in other places where people say they look a lot alike but all I see is a dark haired character. The character doesn’t have the Italian afro helmet head that Sivero had in those movies either. I don’t think there is a huge resemblance but I’m not a lawyer so I have common sense.
I’m going to file a lawsuit against The Simpsons as well. I once lived in the same state as a production assistant who got coffee for one of the writers for The Simpsons and that PA passed me in the aisle at the Safeway one day back in 1992. We made eye contact and there was something unsaid between us that I knew was magical. Then in 1997, the Frank Grimes character appeared in the episode, Homer’s Enemy.
I have dark hair. Frank Grimes has dark hair. Frank Grimes is angry, I’m angry. I think you can see where this is going. Yes. They stole that character from me and I want the money that is owed. I just need an attorney. Anyone out there willing to work on contingency?