YouTube star Bethany Mota, who boasts over 10 million subscribers on YT and 5 million followers on Instagram, and her father/manager, Tony Mota, are being sued by Studio 71, a multi-channel network that works with multiple big-name YouTubers to help land them lucrative brand deals, for allegedly failing to complete a sponsored skincare campaign as promised.
According to a complaint filed Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, the 21-year-old signed a contract that said she’d be paid a talent fee of $325,000 in exchange for promoting a skincare brand across several of her social media accounts. Bethany and Tony were flown out to Kauai, Hawaii, for the campaign, because the Dancing with the Stars alum was meant to apply the product while getting ready for the day in the tropical location.
When the pair arrived to the island, however, problems immediately started. According to the suit, the brunette’s dad began acting like a “diva Dadager” and didn’t encourage his daughter to follow through with her responsibilities.
Once in Kauai, Tony Mota put his diva behaviors on full display by demanding, among other things, on two separate days that Studio 71 have a driver and a production assistant take him around the island so that he could sight-see and fly his drone. Although [Bethany] Mota had been flown to Kauai to film the YouTube video, Tony Mota counseled his daughter to disregard her contractual obligations.Studio 71 attorney Bryan Freedman states in the complaint.
The YouTuber then allegedly failed to produce a video that included the footage from Hawaii, which was part of the deal. In fact, she didn’t send ANY sort of video until two days before the campaign was schedueled to launch, and it was not up to the brand’s standards.
“Mota and her representatives did not provide the video and stubbornly refused to commit to a timetable for its production to Studio 71. Studio 71 was shocked to discover that the ‘video’ that Mota sent did not contain any of the agreed upon creative components. Instead, Mota’s ‘video’ consisted of a ‘shout out.’ Mota informed Studio 71 that she was going to add this ‘shout out’ to another video, which had not been reviewed or approved by Studio 71, the advertising agency, or the advertiser.”Bryan Freedman.
Studio 71 is suing Bethany for breech of contract, fraud and five other claims. The company wants financial compensation for damages, as well as a written letter that states it doesn’t have to pay the girl despite their initial contractual agreement.
The brunette’s lawyer, Michael Weinsten, however, made a statement to THR that claims Studio 71’s claims are BS.
“Studio 71’s lawsuit is nothing short of a preemptive tactic to avoid payment of hundreds of thousands of dollars we believe are owed to Ms. Mota,” he said. “We will seek early dismissal of this bogus complaint and will soon be filing substantial counterclaims to recover what is due Ms. Mota.”