Faizon Love is reportedly suing Universal Studios for alleging that they whitewashed the international poster for the 2009 Couples Retreat film.
PEOPLE reports that the 52-year-old actor's lawsuit charges the studio with breach of contract, fraud and discrimination for removing him and his co-star Kali Hawk from the film's poster when it opened overseas. The allegations come from a press release received by the celebrity news agency.
Love and Hawk were the only two black leads in the film, which also starred Jason Bateman, Vince Vaughn, Kristen Bell, Kristen Davis, Malin Akerman and others.
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"This film was a big money maker for Universal, but instead of sticking to my job and contract, the studio decided to make me invisible to billions of moviegoers around the world," Love said in the statement. "Not only did they hurt me financially, they hurt me in a deeper way by firing me for my blackness – and they hurt all black performers by continuing to perpetuate racism in the film industry."
Universal Studios has not yet commented on the suit.
Love said the reason he filed the lawsuit was "because of the discriminatory practices against blacks and people of color in the entertainment industry. I want to make sure that future generations don't have to endure the racism and whitewash I've experienced."
Love also claims that Universal Studios guaranteed him during the film's release that he would no longer be served ads that did not feature him or Hawk.
Variety recently revealed court documents they had received that Love claims the studio continued to use the poster overseas, claiming the studio broke its promise to him. In addition, the studio had rejected the promise of future film roles and a role opposite Vaughn on a TV show.
Finally, Love said that then Universal Pictures chairman Adam Fogelson "called him in November 2009 and" apologized for the racist poster. "
"Mr Fogelson could not and did not try to justify the racist poster and told Mr Love that the defendants would fix the problem by not using the offensive image in the future," the legal documents read. "Scott Stuber, who at the time was running Stuber Pictures, a producer on Couples Retreat, and had a five-year production contract with Universal Studios, called Mr. Love to apologize for the use of the racist poster and promised that it would also be destroyed and never used again to promote the film. "