Walt Disney Co. is singing a new tune over a portrayal of Snow White during the Academy Awards: Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to court we go.
Disney is suing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, contending the song-and-dance routine by a Snow White look-alike looked, well, dopey.Corporate spokesman Erwin Okun said the performance was unflattering to the beloved character, and the academy lacked permission to use it.
The trademark infringement lawsuit was filed in federal court Thursday.
Okun said anyone watching would reasonably conclude that Disney had sanctioned the routine, adding, "We thought it was extremely unrepresentative of our creative work and of our quality."
The broadcast, seen in an estimated 27 million American homes, began Wednesday night with actress Eileen Bowman, dressed as Snow White, following a chorus line of stars dancing into the Shrine Auditorium.
Bowman's Snow White, in a squeaky Betty Boop voice, then launched into a rendition of "We Only Have Stars for You," to the tune of the 1959 hit "I Only Have Eyes for You."
Disney, which has a reputation for zealously protecting its trademark characters, files dozens of suits each year against individuals and companies.
No monetary damages were specified in the suit. Disney is seeking a court order prohibiting the academy's future use of Disney characters without authorization, Okun said.