Debunked Sophia Stewart vs. The Matrix story still circulates web

by | Apr 30, 2013 | News | 3 comments

Examiner – No, Sophia Stewart, an African-American writer who claims the the Wachowski brothers stole The Matrix Trilogy from her, never won a copyright infringement suit against the pair. Neither has her claim that the Terminator was stolen from her ever had traction.

For some reason, Stewart didn’t show up to court on her big day in June 2005, and the judge ruled against her. Yet, this story of her wining the lawsuit continues to be reported on websites as fact.

matrixIt came to the African-American Books Examiner’s attention today that Stewart’s long-ago debunked storystill circulates the web when she opened email this morning. She understands how people so easily believe Stewart’s tale. For one, it’s usually presented as a new story and this writer once bought the erroneous reports of a win herself. Next, people love a good David-beats-Goliath story. However, the Af-Am Examiner says, “Think on this Stewart story some more.”

Had Stewart, who claims the movies are based on her 1981 short story “The Third Eye,” actually won her case, considering how much money both The Matrix Trilogy and The Terminator earned, the victory story would have been all over the evening news, in major newspapers and on Oprah in 2005. Not only would that have happened, but Stewart would be well-known in creative communities. In addition, no matter her race, if it had been proven that she had ideas for two blockbusters series, she’d have been picked up by a studio, even if it was Tyler Perry’s studio or aSpike Lee Joint.

The hottest color of Hollywood is green. People with blockbuster money ideas do not get tossed aside. Producers would want to tap Stewart to see if lightning strikes thrice even if they had to record sessions with her so they could prove later they didn’t steal anything.

Nevertheless, understanding that sometimes a person may have a once-in-a-lifetime story that slips away from her or him, here is a link to Sophia Stewart’s legal documentation. She is being promoted as “The Mother of the Matrix.”

Winning a copyright infringement case against a studio is nearly impossible. While humorist Art Buchwald sued Paramount over Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America and won, it’s rare to triumph over Hollywood studios because of the high number of people who claim studios stole their ideas but have no real proof.  After awhile, cries that “Hollywood stole my idea” start to sound like shouts of “I’m innocent” behind prison bars. A few people have a righteous cause. Most, however, are lying to themselves.

Furthermore, as serious, working writers know, if you don’t have proof of theft, your new work will reflect that you possess the skill and talent to have produced the work you say was stolen. However, with the history of African-Americans in the book publishing industry, in Hollywood, in America being what it is, a history of under-appreciation and worse, it’s understandable why so many African-Americans believe without question that Stewart got the shaft.

What’s the truth about Sophia Stewart’s case?

As explained at, the rumor that she won started after a college student made a huge error in a story for her college newspaper.

      A less than accurate newspaper article about Stewart and her case caused many to believe the woman claiming authorship had won her copyright infringement suit and was about to receive a multi-billion dollar settlement. This 28 October 2004 article, penned by a second-year communications student for the

Salt Lake Community College Globe

      , erred in mistaking Stewart’s 4 October 2004 successful counter to a dismissal motion for her having prevailed in her suit. The article asserted Stewart “will recover damages from the films, The

Matrix I, II



       as well as The Terminator and its sequels” and would “soon receive one of the biggest payoffs in the history of Hollywood.” What Stewart had won was the right to proceed with her case, but nothing more.

The Globe subsequently posted the following correction:

In reference to the recent article entitled “Mother of the Matrix Victorious,” some information has been deemed misleading. Ms. Sophia Stewart has not yet won her case against Joel Silver, Time Warner and the Wachowski Bros. The decision on October 4th enabled Ms. Stewart to proceed with her case, as all attempts to have it dismissed were unsuccessful. Ms. Stewart’s case will proceed through the Central District Court of California.
The Globe Staff

In November 2009, some web-based news sites erroneously republished outdated (and inaccurate) articles from 2004 claiming that Sophia Stewart had won her case.

Read more:

Keep up to date with everything going on in the Urban Intellectuals Universe.

Blog post opt-in form 2 (#8)


  1. De Horus

    Sophia Stewart and the Matrix:
    Please update your story to include the lawsuit she has against her lawyers which has been ruled in her favor. View the court documents.
    The real truth is that she lost the case because her lawyers failed to represent her but she sued her lawyers and won the lawsuit against the lawyers. You can read the court ruling for yourself:

  2. Vivian

    De Horus, thank you for educating this self-hating coon. It’s interesting how easily these “black intellectuals” are willing to believe the white side of the story without doing any real research. Even if Horus didn’t post that link, common sense was the only thing needed. Why would she pursue this case for over a DECADE only to not show up in court the day she finally got a chance? She was obviously paid off, sabotaged or worse. It doesn’t take an “intellectual” to figure out how the world really works.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *