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Screw Matchbox Twenty -- Sue the Activists!

4/17/2008 2:24 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

A booking company is pissed that Matchbox Twenty just pulled out of performing at Cheyenne Frontier Days -- which claims to be the world's biggest outdoor rodeo -- because of the "mistreatment of animals" at the event. So the company has decided to sue ... animal activists!?
Click to launch docs!
Romeo Entertainment is claiming that animal activist group SHARK contacted agents for Matchbox Twenty -- and used "false and misleading information and the threat of negative publicity" to get the fading band to drop out of their July 18 performance.

This isn't the first time Romeo claims SHARK has bit them in the ass.

They claim SHARK was responsible for Carrie Underwood pulling out of the same event in July of 2006! Romeo is seeking close to $100,000 in damages for the alleged "unjustified and tortious" interference from SHARK and its president.

UPDATE: Currently, the lawsuit is not seeking damages from the entertainers involved -- but TMZ just spoke with R.J. Romeo, who said R.E.G.'s not ruling out taking legal action against Matchbox Twenty. R.J. says Romeo Entertainment Group officially found out MB20 had bailed out of the gig after questioning a press release sent out by SHARK -- which claimed the band was dunzo with the performance.

R.J. says the release came after Bob Romeo never received a response to a letter sent to MB20's agents -- which explained there was no rodeo events scheduled the day of the performance, and asked that the band keep up with their end of the deal.

Statement from SHARK: "Bring it on! We can't wait to see these guys in court. Matchbox Twenty did the right thing, and we did the right thing in contacting them. These guys (MB20) are real American heroes -- not like those phony cowboys."

32 COMMENTS

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1.

player hater; game hater    

First, er second perhaps. Third?

2326 days ago
2.

player hater; game hater    

Well, whatdaya know? I have reached a pinnacle in my life by being a firster in TMZ's comment section. I must celebrate by maybe renting a porn in memory of Hugh's passing.

2326 days ago
3.

Liz    

I am so sick of non-profit agencies using these "bully" tactics............they need to be stopped and someone needs to stand up and make them accountable!

2326 days ago
4.

Liz    

What is with the Hefner comments?

2326 days ago
5.

Will    

Seems to me if Cheyenne Frontier Days was burned in the past by Carrie Underwood pulling out, then they should have learned a lesson and advised performers they wanted to book, "You know, this IS a rodeo, right? With roping and riding bulls? Maybe wrestling some ornery sheep? Bowlegged cowboys? Yippee-ki-yay and all that stuff?". Would have limited the chance of others backing out.

2326 days ago
6.

MIss~Jest'r Cowgirl 4 Life    

Ok this is an age old debate as to if the animals are mistreated or not at a Rodeo. I have been to many a rodeo in my life and it is something I enjoy. So when an watchdog group stands up and says Rodeo is inhumane in the way they treat the animals, I have 2 questions for them..... 1st have you ever been to a Rodeo, and 2nd HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO A STOCKYARD where the stock come from? Those animals are treated very well for about 5 minutes of work for the whole season....

2326 days ago
7.

Allie    

SHARK is actually a very honest group, the information they share, along with videos they show are recent and show the cruelty they claim happens. Poor big ol rodeo having artists drop out due to them being abusive to animals....lol!

You mean celebrities DONT want to be associated in any way with animal cruelty?!?! ~GASP!~ imagine that....

2326 days ago
8.

Rachel M.    

Hey, I go to CFD every year and I've never seen any abuse. Sorry but Matchbox 20 isn't someone that we would want to see anyway. And after the stunt of pulling out of the concert, WE WOULDN'T WANT THEM HERE ANYWAY!

2326 days ago
9.

nitesky    

Hurray for the animals.

Someone needs to make Hillbilly Heaven Rodeos accountable :))

2326 days ago
10.

Steve Wilson    

The booking company must hope that the court will forget about the First Amendment? What a lame attempt to stifle free speech.

The REAL bullying that is going on here is not by activists, but by grown men dressing up is cowboy suits and beating the living hell out of animals for fun.

2326 days ago
11.

Mati    

Wthout the use of spurs, tail-twisting, and bucking straps cinched tightly around their abdomen and groin, these frightened and often docile animals wouldn't even buck. They are terrorized into action when men shove electric prods into them, twist their necks, yank them by their tails or legs, slam them to the ground, or otherwise batter them. The fact that most of these innocent animals are eventually destined for the slaughterhouse in no way justifies compounding their agony along the way. Bulls and horses are tormented in the chutes prior to release into the ring. They are forced to wear bucking straps, and the rider uses spurs, which dig into the animals' flesh. One rodeo cowboy said of bucking straps and electric prods, "If you can't use those devices, then you have no rodeo." Steve Gander, organizer of the "World's Toughest Rodeo," admits that bucking horses and bulls are "prodded with an electrical hotshot."




2326 days ago
12.

You're an idiot    

Bullfighting IS animal cruelty. Duh...

2326 days ago
13.

Shaka    

Good grief people, how about BEFORE you start criticizing rodeo, you actually attend one and see what it is all about? That is how this crap gets started in the first place. MOST of the stock contractors I know treat their animals with kid gloves. Their animals make them money, they can't afford to treat them badly. Think about it!!!! If their animals aren't healthy and can't perform, the contractors don't get paid. There are VERY HEFTY fines handed out if a contestant abuses the animal in any way. EDUCATE yourself about this sport before you try to comment on it.

2326 days ago
14.

Kelli    

I thought they should have played. Rodeos pamper and are not cruel. I have been around them my whole life. Now the sport of "cow tippin" is cruel and I would totally support that cause. :)

2325 days ago
15.

STORMY7    

RODEOS ARE JUST ANOTHER MEANS TO EXPLOIT ANIMALS ALONG WITH CIRCUS AND ZOOS . MATCHBOX TWENTY PULLING OUT WON'T STOP THE ANIMAL ABUSE BUT BOYCOTTING THESE EVENTS HELP THE ANIMALS. I HOPE THE ANIMALS RIOT AND ATTACK THESE DUMBASS COWBOYS.

2325 days ago
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