Lady’s Gambit: Chess player sues Netflix for defamation

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During 2020, Lady’s Gambit became a phenomenon and one of the most successful miniseries of the titan of the streaming, whose impact earned her several nominations and awards such as the Golden Globe in the category of Best Miniseries and Best Actress in a Miniseries for Anya Taylor-Joy. However, this serial fiction has not been immune from controversy and is back in the headlines after the Georgian chess champion Nona gaprindashvili issued a lawsuit against Netflix due to a sexist comment referring to her during the series’ latest episode titled End Game.

According to information from Deadline, Nona Gaprindashvili, who was the first woman to achieve the title of Grandmaster of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), sued the platform for $ 5 million for defamation, because during that last episode of the adaptation made by Scott Frank and Allan Scott, of the homonymous novel written by Walter Tevis, the following dialogue is mentioned:

«[…] the only thing unusual about her [Beth Harmon]Actually, it is their sex, and even that is not unique in Russia. There is Nona Gaprindashvili, but she is the women’s world champion and she has never faced men, ”says an announcer during the Moscow tournament where Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) competes.

End Game Lady’s Gambit

That line of dialogue unleashed the disagreement and rejection of Nona Gaprindashvili, who claimed that the statement was completely false, because during her successful career as a chess player she faced and triumphed against several male competitors:

Gaprindashvili is a pioneer of women’s chess and a beloved icon in her native Georgia. Throughout her extraordinary career, she won many championships, defeated some of the best male chess players in the world, and was the first woman in history to achieve the status of an international chess grandmaster among men.

According to the data presented by the legal team of the chess player, during 1968, -year where the last episode of Lady’s Gambit Gaprindashvili He had already competed against 59 male male players, including 10 players considered Grand Masters of the sport at that time.

The accusation that Gaprindashvili ‘has never faced men’ is blatantly false, as well as being wildly sexist and disparaging”The lawsuit reads. «By 1968, the year in which this episode takes place, I had competed against at least 59 male chess players (28 of them simultaneously in one game), including at least ten Grandmasters of the time, including Dragoljub Velimirović, Svetozar Gligoric, Paul Keres , Bojan Kurajica, Boris Spassky, Viswanathan Anand, and Mikhail Tal. The last three were also world champions during their careers. ‘

The lawsuit accuses the king of streaming for having humiliated the champion through a production that, apparently, sought to exalt female characters in the world of chess:

“Netflix blatantly and deliberately lied about Gaprindashvili’s accomplishments for the cheap and cynical purpose of ‘enhancing the drama’ by making it appear that their fictional hero had managed to do what no other woman, including Gaprindashvili, had done,” the lawyers noted. . “Therefore, In a story that was supposed to inspire women by showing a young woman competing with men at the highest levels of world chess, Netflix humiliated the only woman who had truly faced and defeated men.«.

Nona Gaprindashvili sues Lady's Gambit
Nona gaprindashvili

Finally, the team of lawyers at Gaprindashvili rant about how Netflix addressed the national identity of the chess player:

“Adding more insults to the wounds, Netflix described Gaprindashvili as Russian, despite knowing that she was Georgian and that Georgians had suffered under Russian rule when they were part of the Soviet Union, and had subsequently been intimidated and invaded by Russia” .

In addition to the $ 5 million requested to repair the damages, the Georgian chess player’s lawyers issued a court order to suppress the line of dialogue that refers to the player during the final chapter of Lady’s Gambit.

Netflix’s response to the lawsuit

“Netflix has only the utmost respect for Ms. Gaprindashvili and her illustrious career, but we believe this claim is without merit and will vigorously defend the case,” said a spokesperson for the platform.

Here you can read the full lawsuit (via Deadline).

The entry Lady’s Gambit: Chess Player Sues Netflix for Defamation was first published on Cinema PREMIERE.

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