Checkmate for Netflix, which will not succeed in avoiding a lawsuit for defamation. A federal judge has just rejected the firm’s appeal to have legal proceedings initiated by a Georgian player canceled following the broadcast of the series Le Jeu de la Dame.
In 2020, Netflix is releasing its new mini-series called The Queen’s Game, adapted from the eponymous novel by Walter Tevis published in 1963. A real audience success for the N rouge, which will also obtain four awards at the Golden Globes and the Emmy Awards. However, this solid reputation will be tarnished by a lawsuit, initiated by the Georgian player Nona Gaprindashvili. The latter actually requires $5 million in compensation for defamation according to Deadline.
It is particularly a scene from the final episode that poses a problem. During the final tournament of the series, in Moscow in 1968, we hear a presenter say about Beth Harmon: “The only unusual thing about him is his gender, and even that is not unheard of in Russia.” He then adds, “There’s Nona Gaprindashvili, but she’s the women’s world champion and has never faced a man.”
A shortcut that did not please the player concerned, who quickly wanted to clarify the situation. She actually faced male players, 59 at the time of the plot. Some of the most famous players since she was opposed to ten Grandmasters of the time such as Dragolyub Velimirovich, Svetozar Gligoric, Paul Keres and Bojan Kurajica to name a few.
The judge agrees
If Netflix tried to avoid the lawsuit, arguing that it was a minor inaccuracy and that the essence of the series was based on a feminist narrative, it was not enough to convince the judge to pronounce a dismissal. She thus stated: “The Court cannot ignore that the series refers to real people and events, more importantly, the replica identifies a real person, the plaintiff, by name. The scene references her real career, then shows an actress in the audience who looks like her.” She adds that viewers “could have reasonably believed the commentary was one of those historical details incorporated into the show.”
Nona Gaprindashvili is therefore asking for 5 million dollars in compensation for this scriptwriting inaccuracy. It remains to be seen whether Netflix and the chess player will succeed in agreeing on a compensatory sum and thus prevent the legal machine from starting. We can also imagine that the platform is in the future forced to modify the sequence, by completely removing the commentary of the presenter. In any case, the red N will have to proceed to checkout.
An unfortunate mishap for the company which experienced a drastic drop in its share price this week. After sharing these results for this quarter, below the objectives it had set, the platform showed a 20% drop on his actions. It is now displayed at $386.70.