One of my online friends is an actor named Tom Kiesche. As it happens, he is also from New Jersey. While he may not have a name you recognize, you'll probably recognize his face from a variety of commercial efforts: DHL (There's no crying in shipping!), Dominos Pizza (They're statues!) and the famous "Messin' with Sasquatch" Jack Links Jerky commercial called Pickup. He's played the recurring role of Clovis in Breaking Bad on AMC as well as roles in a variety of other shows such as Bones, Monk, NCIS, and others. He also had feature roles in the movies Desolation Canyon, Alien Raiders and WMD.
Tom has his own production company (Big Quiche Productions) and writes and creates a lot of his own short and playful videos. His versatility literally has no bounds. He sings, acts, directs, screenwrites and produces a lot of different types of film work, including a series called "Real Men Don't". This link takes you to one of Tom's creations that was uploaded to YouTube in 2006, meaning its creation and development was earlier than that.
However, a new series of Real Men Don't vignettes have been produced by none other than Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore as part of their efforts to fight child sex slavery. While the goal is noble and different than the goal of Tom's own RMD series, the fact remains that the overall look, feel, timing and humor of the shorts being shown by Ashton and Demi are markedly similar to those produced by Tom Kiesche. In fact, Tom has been contacted by a lawyer suggesting that he sue the DNA Foundation (Demi and Ashton) over the intellectual property rights.
Tom, however, would rather avoid that. It's nice money if you can get it, but he'd rather earn his money the traditional way. He has concerns primarily that he will look like the copy cat rather than the other way around. There are two online articles already about this potential controversy. How long before there are others in the mainstream media?
Tom has asked people who believe he has been wronged to use social media to pass the word on to Ashton and Demi (Twitter, Facebook, wherever they might be accessible) that the comparisons between their efforts and his are too coincidental and need to be either changed or him given credit for creating the concept. He wants the public to continue to support the DNA campaign, for the Ashton and Demi to continue their shorts, but feels they could very easily make things right for everyone by acknowledging and respecting creativity and originality, creating a win-win for all parties. Them, him, and their wonderful campaign.
So, if you believe, as I do, that there has been a conceptual borrowing of Tom's original series, then please post your concerns wherever the DNA Foundation can see them. There is power in numbers. They need to hear from more than a few that Tom Kiesche's original work needs to be acknowledged. He is a genuinely nice guy who deserves to be treated fairly.
Please read these articles for more information:
'Real Men Don't' Controversy, Exclusive
Please contact Demi and Ashton at the following about this:
Demi and Ashton DNA Foundation (Facebook)
Ashton Kutcher (Twitter)
Demi Moore (Twitter)