‘Dora the Explorer’ Says Nickelodeon Ripped Her Off
Has the voice of ‘Dora the Explorer’ been taken for a ride? The actress who became the voice of the adventurous cartoon character in 2007 filed a lawsuit on Wednesday claiming Nickelodeon and its parent companies exploited her with a dubious contract that made millions for the network, but little for her.
Lawyers for 14-year-old Caitlin Sanchez told the New York Daily News that the actress and her parents were pressured into signing a “convoluted and inscrutable contract” that cheated her out of “millions, perhaps tens of millions.”
The suit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Wednesday, names Nickelodeon, MTV Networks and Viacom International as defendants. Sanchez and her parents believe the young star was not compensated properly for hundreds of hours of studio time, in addition to personal appearances and profits from the show’s merchandising empire.
“Defendants used Caitlin, unjustly enriching themselves of millions of dollars in profits from the series and branded products, which Caitlin preformed and promoted,” the suit claims.
Sanchez became Dora, a Latina character, in 2007, and her contract promised $5,115 per episode and a cut from residuals and merchandising. The Sanchez’s claim that their own agent, Jason Bercy, gave them only 22 minutes to review the contract and threatened that if they didn’t sign immediately, Nick would “pass on Caitlin for the part of Dora.”
Bercy is not named in the suit and when contacted declined to comment. A legal representative for Viacom calls the suit “completely without merit.”