Kris Herrera, manager of a New York City 16 Handles yogurt shop is suing Food Network, 16 Handles, and many others for a reality show set up. He appeared on the May 23 episode of the new Food Network show Giving You the Business where, according to the complaint, he was told he won his very own 16 Handles franchise store. However, after “winning,” Herrera was instead given a “single, non-transferable, non-voting share of common stock in 16 Handles’ parent company.” How was he tricked?
To get him on the show, he alleges producers employed a "ruse and deception," telling him he had been selected to participate in filming a "corporate video" for the yogurt chain and instructed to submit photos of his family. Then he says he was assigned a seven-hour shift in which he dealt with “situations of embarrassment and ridicule that placed him in a negative light.” Days later, he was informed he won the show.
Immediately after informing him of his win, Herrera was presented with a Contributor Release and allegedly told that signing it was a condition to his being awarded his own franchise. He signed the release, was then offered the stock, and is now suing for “breach of contract, fraud and violation of his right to privacy and publicity.”
The worst part of the ordeal, according to Herrera, is that when 16 Handles customers now come into the store he manages, they congratulate him on winning without knowing he “got the shaft.”
The full lawsuit can be found here.