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Voice of `Dora The Explorer,’ network end dispute
Question of the Day
NEW YORK (AP) - A teenage actress has dropped her claim that Nickelodeon massively underpaid her for lending her voice to the plucky cartoon heroine of “Dora The Explorer,” and the network said Friday she would do some more work on the pioneering children’s show.
Caitlin Sanchez agreed to dismiss her lawsuit against the network and its corporate parents last month, federal court records show. Nickelodeon said Friday that Caitlin would finish some future episodes. The network declined to say how many or otherwise detail its arrangement with the Fairview, N.J., teen.
“We have always felt, and continue to feel, that Caitlin is a very talented performer,” the network said in a statement. “Our intention was always that Caitlin complete the episodes on which she worked, and we are pleased that she has agreed to do so.”
Caitlin’s lawyer, John Balestriere, would say only that the lawsuit was withdrawn after discussions.
The dismissal ends a sniping dispute over behind-the-scenes business at the chipper children’s series. Caitlin’s lawsuit accused family oriented Nickelodeon of cheating a hardworking high school student out of millions of dollars; the network at one point said the 14-year-old had vocally outgrown her perennially 7-year-old character.
“Dora The Explorer” is in its 10th year. It broke ground in U.S. children’s television by featuring a bilingual, Latina heroine and quickly became a cultural touchstone.
Caitlin has given voice to Dora since 2007, leading viewers on whimsical adventures that also help teach English and Spanish.
Her lawsuit said she made $5,115 per episode but didn’t get the fees she was due for reruns, recordings for DVDs and other Dora products and hundreds of hours of promotional work.
Nickelodeon, owned by Viacom Inc., initially said Caitlin was well compensated, and her “voice changed and she was no longer able to portray the Dora character” _ a claim her camp disputed.
The show averages 1.9 million viewers for each episode and has generated more than $11 billion in sales of related toys, books and DVDs worldwide since 2002. Dora is a balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and briefly became a cartoon poster child for the nationwide debate over immigration after a doctored photo of her behind bars as a suspected illegal immigrant made the rounds online this year.
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