“Married at First Sight” is facing some legal trouble. A woman named Yaina Williams claims that the matrimonial reality TV show was her idea and is suing A+E Networks, TMZ reports.
“Married at First Sight” follows six single people who want to get married. They go through a series of tests and interviews so that four "experts" can match them with the person who seems like their soulmate. The couples are married without ever meeting beforehand. Cameras follow them for a month, and at the end of that time, couples have to figure out if they are falling in love or getting a divorce. The show launched the new FYI network, owned by A+E Networks, and was renewed for a second season as well as a spinoff following the couples after Season 1 titled “Married at First Sight: The First Year.”
Williams says she posted her idea for “Married at First Sight” in 2011 to the TV Writers Vault, a website designed for writers to pitch TV shows on. She claims that an executive from Lifetime (also owned by A+E Networks) downloaded it a year later. Williams reportedly wants the show to be pulled off the air and financial compensation. Allegedly stolen ideas include experts, online voting, the six-month reunion special and even the tagline "Can love happen at first sight?”, according to TMZ. It isn't clear if these aspects appeared in the original show from Denmark.
While promoting “Married at First Sight,” FYI said the idea came from a Danish program. The official description begins with the phrase, “Based on the hit Danish format.” After the show was successful in Denmark, studios in other countries, including France and Britain, started buying the rights to it. The success of the original was a selling point for the participants and experts.
Sexologist Dr. Logan Levkoff originally didn’t want to take part in the docu-series, but the Danish show convinced her to sign on. “I could not put it down. It was provocative. It was thoughtful. You rooted for the people who were part of this, and it was unlike anything that I had ever seen before,” Levkoff said in a July interview with International Business Times.
There are no reports about whether Williams’ lawsuit extends to the Danish version or if it will affect the spinoff “Married at First Sight: The First Year,” set to premiere Jan. 13 at 9 p.m. EST on FYI. A representative from FYI told IBTimes that they currently have no comment.