Recent news that the voice actor behind “Dora the Explorer” has filed suit against the producers of the show on the basis that the contract signed by the actor (who is a minor) is “unconscionable” offers a chance to review an area of entertainment law which is drastically different on either side of the Canada/US border. Diane Krausz and Jennifer Bellusci offer some thoughts on how the lawsuit has been framed in legal terms and a brief overview of New York State law on contracting with minors in “Dora Explores a Minor Platform”, while Rachel Valadez explores some of the non-legal (but still important for lawyers) strategic considerations behind the handling of the lawsuit in “Lessons From the Legal Saga of Dora the Explo(rer/iter/ited”. A comprehensive review of the law of contracting with minors for film and TV productions in New York, California, Ontario and British Columbia can be found in my article “A Minor Conundrum: Contracting with Minors in Canada for Film and Television Producers”, originally published in 29 Hastings Comm. & Ent. L.J. 45 (2006-2007), and a copy of which is available here.
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