Netflix must face ‘Queens Gambit’ defamation swimsuit, choose guidelines

Netflix is studying that careless dialogue in its fictional reveals can have severe implications. Its bid to get a current defamation swimsuit dismissed has been rejected, which means it must face the plaintiff — Georgian chess legend Nona Gaprindashvili — in court docket. 

In September, Gaprindashvili filed a swimsuit towards the streaming large, accusing the corporate of defamation and “false mild invasion of privateness.” Because the world’s first feminine grandmaster, Gaprindashvili was talked about in Netflix’s sequence The Queen’s Gambit — a interval drama a few chess prodigy. 

In one scene throughout a chess match, a radio commentator says in passing “The one uncommon factor about her, actually, is her intercourse. And even that is not distinctive in Russia. There’s Nona Gaprindashvili, however she’s the feminine world champion and has by no means confronted males.”

Based on the swimsuit, not solely is the allegation that Gaprindashvili hadn’t confronted males at the moment “manifestly false,” it is also “grossly sexist and belittling.” It states that “By 1968, the 12 months through which this episode is about, she had competed towards not less than 59 male chess gamers (28 of them concurrently in a single sport), together with not less than ten Grandmasters of that point.”

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The present is predicated on a 1983 novel by Walter Tevis that additionally mentions Gaprindashvili. Nonetheless, the half which Netflix seems to have primarily based this specific little bit of its script on says, “The one uncommon factor about her was her intercourse; and even that wasn’t distinctive in Russia. There was Nona Gaprindashvili, lower than the extent of this event, however a participant who had met all these Russian Grandmasters many occasions earlier than.” Netflix’s model is clearly completely different.

The streaming supplier had moved to strike the case in November, saying in its submitting that “the Collection is a fictional work {that a} cheap viewer wouldn’t construe as conveying truth.” It additionally stated that “an affordable viewer wouldn’t draw the damaging implication that Plaintiff alleges.”

Nonetheless, US District Choose Virginia Philips denied that movement at this time, writing that “the truth that the Collection was a fictional work doesn’t insulate Netflix from legal responsibility for defamation if all the weather of defamation are in any other case current.”

The ruling additionally states that “on the very least, the road is dismissive of the accomplishments central to Plaintiff’s popularity.” It additionally factors out that, when submitting its movement to dismiss, “Netflix’s personal proof demonstrates information of the reality in its option to deviate from the textual content of the Novel, which states that Plaintiff had confronted the male Russian Grandmasters ‘many occasions earlier than.'”

Gaprindashvili is in search of damages of not less than $5 million, in addition to for Netflix to take away the assertion that she by no means performed males from the present. 

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