Voice of Dora the Explorer says Nickelodeon cheated her out of millions

Last Updated: Oct 08, 2010, 17:40 PM IST

Washington: The US teen, who voiced Dora on Nickelodeon’s animated television series ‘Dora the Explorer’ in 2007, and her parents are suing the network for cheating her out of millions of dollars.

According to the New York Daily News, Caitlin Sanchez, 14, and her parents claim they were pressured into signing a complicated contract that lost them money.

The suit claims Sanchez was woefully underpaid, not compensated for hundreds of hours of recording, and forced to promote the show for a “meagre travel stipend of 40 dollars a day”.

Sanchez’s lawyer, John Balestriere, said she was cheated out of “millions, perhaps tens of millions” of dollars after being pressured to sign an “unconscionable” 14-page contract that the family had just 22 minutes to review without a lawyer’s help.

“I’ve never seen as convoluted and inscrutable contract as I’ve seen here,” People magazine quoted Balestriere as saying.

The suit charges that Nickelodeon, MTV Networks and Viacom International “used Caitlin, unjustly enriching themselves of millions of dollars in profits from the series and branded products, which Caitlin performed and promoted”.

David Bittler, a spokesman for Nickelodeon, called 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,” Bittler said in a statement.

“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,” he stated.