Netflix Can Be Sued For Defamation Over Character Portrayal In “When They See Us”

Netflix could be facing a lawsuit over the film, “When They See Us”. 

It has been reported that earlier this week a federal judge has ruled that director Ava DuVernay and writer Attica Locke can be sued over the depiction of the character Linda Fairstein in the critically acclaimed film. 

Fairstein, who was the prosecutor in the trial of the Central Park Five, filed a lawsuit last March citing that the portrayal of her role in the movie was “grossly inaccurate and defamatory.” 

However, DuVernay, Locke, and Netflix have all sought to get the lawsuit dismissed due to the first amendment.

They argued, “Central to the First Amendment is the right to harshly criticize the government, including in the context of artistic film dramatizations based on real stories and perspectives that include unflattering portrayals of public officials.” 

The dismissal request went on to say, “At its core, Plaintiff Linda Fairstein seeks to evade that criticism by ignoring the Series’ essential context, the actual dialogue in the Series, and her own actual, documented words, and actions. The Complaint cannot stand as a matter of law.” 

Fairstein was granted the right to sue on several of the defamation claims. What are your thoughts on this matter?