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Old 02-05-2014, 09:27 PM   #1
missy's pop pop
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TV One "Hazel" episode Shirley Booth didn't like!

Strange as it may sound, Shirley Booth had one "Hazel" episode she didn't like at all. In fact, she filed suit over it.

In 1970, just as "Hazel" entered first-run syndication, the Colgate-Palmolive company introduced a new low-suds laundry detergent called Burst. The product, which was similar to Procter and Gamble's Dash, claimed to be the first detergent to combine low suds, enzymes and extra strength--and sat on the shelf for its first few months on the market.

Colgate's ad agency, Ted Bates and Company decided to revamp the marketing campaign by repositioning Burst as "the low-suds powerhouse" -- and what better way to do that than to use the powerhouse image of Ted Key's "Hazel" cartoon?

TV and radio ads appeared in January 1971, with the cartoon Hazel claiming "Burst is so powerful, it's a wonder your washer doesn't go into orbit!" and adding "you could go snowblind from the whites." When I heard the commercials, I thought it was Shirley Booth.

So did many other people, including acting friends who thought Miss Booth had fallen upon hard times. In 1971, she sued Colgate and Ted Bates, demanding damages because they had used an imitation of the "Hazel" voice. A New York district court ruled against her in 1973. The ruling cited "strong federal policy of permitting imitation" prevailed against her interest in protecting "whatever secondary meaning may have attached to her voice as that of the 'Hazel' character."

It was ultimately a moot point, since Burst was discontinued a few years later.

(Wonder how George Baxter would have handled it?)

Last edited by missy's pop pop : 02-05-2014 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:03 PM   #2
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Default Misleading "tabloid like" subject line for thread

Though I enjoyed the "Hazel" story, it had nothing to do with Shirley Booth not liking any "Hazel" episode ever produced as the tabloid subject line was written. It was a TV & radio commercial not a "Hazel" episode.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:56 PM   #3
missy's pop pop
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TV

Okay, maybe the subject line was over the top...but it was a fascinating story of life after "Hazel" and, to Shirley Booth, how her character was still held in regard just after the show entered syndication.

Amazing, too, that we're still discussing "Hazel" more than 50 years after her first episode, just as if the show went off the air yesterday! To quote the title of one of those episodes, "ain't that a knee slapper?"

That we can agree on!
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missy's pop pop
Okay, maybe the subject line was over the top...but it was a fascinating story of life after "Hazel" and, to Shirley Booth, how her character was still held in regard just after the show entered syndication.

Amazing, too, that we're still discussing "Hazel" more than 50 years after her first episode, just as if the show went off the air yesterday! To quote the title of one of those episodes, "ain't that a knee slapper?"

That we can agree on!

Agreed, I haven't sat down and actually watched Hazel in decades, and even then never really intentionally... the show is amazingly fresh and undated considering the show went off the air in 1966.
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Old 05-23-2014, 08:02 PM   #5
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I watched Hazel when it was first on the air as a little kid and then for years when it was syndicated on our local channels. Back then I had to rush home to see Hazel or when it moved to mornings I missed it due to wasting my youth in school instead of in front of the TV set. At one time it was on twice a day, once on a Baltimore channel and then another episode would play on a Washington DC channel. Anyway, it went off the air sometime in the mid '70's and I never saw it again (no miracles like VCR's back then) until 1988 or '89. But by then VCR's were invented and I started taping Hazel and I've been watching it ever since then. 25 years of Hazel in a row, & I still watch it 3 or 2 times a week. It's been one of my all time favorites and to be able to see it again whenever I want is truly a modern day miracle.
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Old 04-03-2015, 06:54 PM   #6
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I'm surprised to read that Ms. Booth didn't prevail in her lawsuit, since I've read that Bobby Darin's son sued McDonald's & its agency over the use of a soundalike for his father Bobby in its "Mac Tonight" ads. I can't find anything online to state whether he won or McDonald's settled with him and his father's estate though.

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/...mack-the-knife
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Old 04-03-2015, 08:28 PM   #7
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I don't know the outcome of the the "Darin" lawsuit but as well with the Hazel lawsuit, Booth had no rights, even though the voice was similar, so is every SNL sketch, Ted Key owned the "Hazel" character since the created comic strip and the law falls under "parody" and you can not sue for that.

Hence as with music parodies, it's nice to ask the artist, but Weird Al has made a career of using the parody laws as well as every sketch show like SNL, the same laws apply with commercials as well as song titles which cannot be copyrighted......anyone could write a song titled "Like A Virgin", "Let It Be", etc with different lyrics and not even be a parody.

Lastly back to Dodd Darins' lawsuit I doubt the courts would have favored it, since Bobby's was a cover version of the song originally from "Three Penny Opera" so he really had no claim, the original recorded song of Bobby's would have had to be used without unauthorization to have any claim.
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