Updated at 2:44 p.m.
Janod Inc., a company that specializes in stopping rock slides, is suing a production company and the National Geographic Channel over Janod’s right to remove "negative" content from an upcoming reality show.
"Rock Stars," according to the complaint (PDF) filed Nov. 7 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, was supposed to be a show about Janod’s rock stabilization business. The Champlain, N.Y.-based company's work would make for good television, it wrote in the complaint, because it's “potentially dangerous” and involves being “suspended at great heights above the ground.”
The contract between Janod and Studio City, Calif.-based Echo Entertainment Inc. included a clause allowing Janod to have editorial control over any content that might show them in “a negative light,” according to the complaint.
Over the summer, Janod claims that Echo, at first, didn’t allow the company to review the show as promised. When they did get access to episodes, the company claims that Echo and National Geographic Channel, which is based in Washington, refused to make any revisions Janod wanted as per the contract.
Janod claims that Echo used an “overly dramatic narration” to imply that the company runs behind schedule, using statements like “the crew is already hopelessly behind schedule.” The company also complains that producers falsely imply that employees aren’t properly trained, and magnify “minor mishaps” to seem like major problems.
According to the complaint, the show is set to air on Nov. 22. Janod wants a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction to stop the show from airing until they can exercise editorial control, and is also suing for damages.
Janod is being represented by Henry Platt of Washington’s Saul Ewing, Jeffrey Patton of Spilman Thomas & Battle in Winston-Salem, N.C., and Richard Wallace of Spilman’s Charleston, W.V., office.
A spokesman for National Geographic Channel said they were aware of the lawsuit but declined to comment. A representatives for Echo could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday morning.