Published October 06, 2011
The producers of Bravo’s “Top Chef” have sued the Texas Attorney General’s Office to stop it from revealing financial details about the show’s upcoming season -- shot entirely in the Lone Star State with Texas tax dollars.
The kerfuffle erupted after Gov. Rick Perry’s office OK’d an estimated $400,000 tax-incentive payment (under the state’s Office of Tourism) to “Top Chef” producers Magical Elves to “integrate” all-things Texas into the new season premiering Nov. 2, according to the Dallas Observer.
When asked how the money was being spent, “Perry’s press office was carefully wording its responses to reporters, telling them that no public money had been spent to lure the show to Texas,” according to the Observer.
When the Observer pressed for information, it was told that Perry’s office “had even more documents it was ready to turn over -- documents that apparently reveal details about the agreement between Magical Elves and the state,” the report says.
The Attorney General’s office then ruled, on Sept. 21, that whatever information Perry’s office had vis a vis the estimated $400,000 paid to Magical Elves “belongs to the people” -- and Magical Elves then filed its suit “to protect confidential, proprietary information,” according to the report.
The lawsuit says the info from Perry’s office contains “proposals, correspondence, and related documents exchanged in the course of confidential negotiations” and “details about . . . creative elements of ‘Top Chef: Texas.’
“Disclosure of certain portions of this information would cause Magical Elves substantial competitive injury, jeopardizing its competitive position as to other production companies and undermining its ability to negotiate effectively with potential advertisers,” the lawsuit states.