American skateboarder and stuntman Bam Margera received national recognition when he appeared in MTV’s hit show Jackass alongside the likes of Johnny Knoxville, Dave England and Chris Pontius among others. Created by Knoxville, Jeff Tremaine and Spike Jonze, Jackass generated a lot of controversy because it subverted conservative societal norms revolving around the definition of indecency.
Jackass spawned several sequels and spin-offs which were commercially successful and kept Margera’s career afloat. While the projects were financially viable, there were a lot of conflicts behind the scenes caused by Margera’s issues with substance abuse. Although he spent around $100,000 for rehab, Paramount deemed the star to be unfit for appearing in Jackass 4 which deepened the divide between Margera and the Jackass team.
In an interview with GQ, Knoxville maintained: “We want Bam to be happy and healthy and get the help he needs… We tried to push that along. I think that’s all I really want to say about it.” However, Margera appears unwilling to listen to his former colleagues and has gone ahead with legal action against his removal from the Jackass sequel.
Tremaine and Knoxville forced Margera to sign a wellness agreement in 2019 in the absence of an attorney, warning him that a violation would result in his termination from the Jackass family. According to the lawsuit that was filed, Margera was allegedly terminated after testing positive for Adderall despite having the proper prescriptions for around ten years.
“Paramount’s inhumane treatment of Margera cannot be countenanced,” the suit mentions. “Margera was made to endure psychological torture in the form of a sham Wellness Agreement, and then ultimately terminated for his protected class status due to his medical condition, and his complaints about Defendants’ discriminatory conduct towards him.”
Margera made public comments against Tremaine and Knoxville as well, claiming that they “betrayed me, abandoned me, rejected me” and “strung me along like a fucking puppet”.