Poet's Daughters Accuse 'The Big Bang Theory' of Cashing in on Mother's Work
Fans of the popular TV show "The Big Bang Theory" might be familiar with a song that characters sing called "Soft Kitty." Now, the daughters of a New Hampshire poet claim that producers of the show stole their mother's verses and have used the rhyme for merchandise.
The New York Times reported that Ellen Newlin Chase and Margaret Chase Perry filed a lawsuit against Warner Brothers, CBS and other media companies, claiming that their mother, Edith Newlin, published the poem in a book called "Songs for the Nursery School" in 1937. The poem, as recited on the show, goes, "Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur / Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr."
Chase and Perry claim that the media companies never sought permission from their mother before the poem was used in several episodes of the show.
The lawsuit indicates that the defendants "have also used the 'Soft Kitty' lyrics in their entirety on a wide range of merchandise items, from T-shirts to air fresheners, as part of one of the largest global licensing and merchandising programs ever mounted for a live-action television series."
Newlin died in 2004, and one of her daughters discovered the show's use of the poem in 2014 while researching their mother's life.
Bill Prady, one of the show's producers, received credit for the song, according to the lawsuit.