“Goodfellas” Wise Guy Sues over Look-a-Like on “The Simpsons”

Simpsons vs Goodfellas

Fox may have to make a settlement offer that actor Frank Sivero can’t refuse in this new lawsuit. Sivero famous for his role portraying Frankie Carbone in “Goodfellas” is suing Fox, James Brooks, Matthew Groening and the other creators of “The Simpsons” for using his character and likeness without permission via the character, Louie.
In 1989, Sivero was filming “Goodfellas” and according to court documents lived in the same apartment complex as “Simpsons” producer James Brooks and the other writers. During this time Sivero was creating his character, Frankie Carbone, and was, in his words, “not restricted to a script”, meaning he was actually creating his character. The defendants were aware of this character and knew Sivero.
“Goodfellas” was released in 1990 to critical acclaim. It is considered “culturally significant” and has been entered into the library of congress. “The Simpsons” has been running since 1989 and has grossed over $12 billion during its run.
In 1991, one year after the release of “Goodfellas”, the character Louie was created. He is a “wise guy” in the Springfield mafia and works under Fat Tony. Sivero argues that the character looks and acts like him and that he was created without his permission. Dan Castellaneta, who voices Louie, has stated that he bases his voice on Joe Pesci, another “Goodfellas” actor.
Within the complaint, Sivero reveals that he has spoken with Brooks over the years and has been told that “he would be part of the future” of “The Simpsons”. He also said that in another conversation in the mid-1990’s he said to Brooks that “it’s about time we do something together”. Brooks said yes, but, like many promises made in Hollywood, it never materialized.
One major concern, the actor waited so long to file the lawsuit. Sivero is seeking $250 million in damages. Let’s see what happens in the battle of the wise guys. Fox hopes this lawsuit will eventually “sleep with the fishes.”
Simpsons vs Goodfellas