‘Dora the Explorer’ Kid Sues over Exploitation Claims

by | October 7, 2010 at 4:37 PM | TV News

Caitlin Sanchez, the Voice of 'Dora the Explorer' (Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Caitlin Sanchez, the Voice of 'Dora the Explorer' (Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

The little girl who once provided the voice of ‘Dora the Explorer‘ is suing the network, claiming she was exploited by producers of the popular Nickelodeon cartoon and not properly compensated, according to the Daily News.

Caitlin Sanchez, 14, who voiced the character of Dora in 2007, and her parents filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Manhattan Supreme Court. The suit alleges that Caitlin was pressured into signing a convoluted 14-page contract without the review of a lawyer and was threatened by an agent to sign the documents after just 22 minutes to look them over or else Nickelodeon would “pass on Caitlin for the part of Dora.”

John Balestriere, a lawyer for Sanchez, claims that the young actress was cheated out of “millions, perhaps tens of millions,” according to the newspaper.

The suit against Nickelodeon, MTV Networks and Viacom International also alleges that they “used Caitlin, unjustly enriching themselves of millions of dollars in profits from the series and branded products, which Caitlin performed and promoted.” There are also accusations that Caitlin was “not being compensated for hundreds of hours of recording sessions” and was forced to promote the show across the country on “a meager travel stipend of $40 a day.”

David Bittler, a spokesman for Nickelodeon, issued a statement Thursday, calling the claims “baseless.”

“Unfortunately, Caitlin’s voice changed and she was no longer able to portray the Dora character, as happened with the actress who originated the role. Caitlin’s contract was extensively negotiated through her agent and in compliance with her union. She was well-compensated for her work and for personal appearances. We have enjoyed working with Caitlin on Dora the Explorer these past three years, and we did in fact offer her a contract for other work with us.”

Michael Fricklas, executive vice president and general counsel for Viacom, says the case is “completely without merit.”