Spike Lee was sued Wednesday in federal court over an alleged debt to two union employee benefit funds.
The funds — which administer benefits on behalf of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Studio Transportation Drivers Local 399, and the American Federation of Musicians Local 47 — claim that Lee and his company, 40 Acres and a Mule, owe $44,987.87.
The alleged debt appears to arise from the production of the 2008 film “Miracle at St. Anna,” a drama highlighting the role of African-Americans in the Second World War. According to the lawsuit, the union funds conducted an audit in 2011, which showed that Lee’s company had failed to make the required contributions on behalf of several union members.
The suit seeks the delinquent amount, in addition to legal fees, penalties, and the cost of the audit. Franklin Moss, an attorney for the plaintiffs, declined to comment on the lawsuit. A representative for Lee could not be immediately reached.